I have a patient who will be coming to see me tommorow with a fracture in of the tarsal bones. This happened awhile ago and he was put in a cast. However, his bone wont heal. His only option is surgery but he wanted to try acupuncture first. I was never taught in school how to treat this condition. I know that putting needles in the local area will help increase blood flow to the area which may help bone heal. Has anyone had success with this type of condition? Any suggestions?
For acute fractures of this nature we use a combination of needling, tuina, and often herbs. The needling is generally points related to their overall constitution, with points to move blood stagnation in the area and for the bones. From the Tam Healing System that I utilize we often add the huatuo of T1 (bone marrow, any bone issues), and the huatuo of T7 (blood issues). And then, yes, you can needle locally both with acupuncture points and ashi, or "ouch" points to increase the microcirculation in the area and reduce inflammation. After needling we do relatively strong tuina down the leg and the calf to facilitate circulation (usually with a blood moving oil like Kwan Loong Oil, Tiger Balm, etc.), and then around the bones in the foot and the area of injury. Generally the circulation in these areas is low so doing everything you can to facilitate it will be very helpful and speed the healing process. For herbs we often recommend Jin Gu Die Shang Wan, which is very helpful for any injury of this nature. This is a classic patent formula with blood moving and pain reducing actions. A couple herbs in the formula are Xue Jie (sprains, contusions, etc.), and Chi Shao (resolve blood stasis).