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X-Ray Reveals Hundreds of Gold Needles in Woman's Knees

When doctors examined an X-ray image of the knees of a woman experiencing severe joint pain, they found a gold mine: hundreds of tiny gold acupuncture needles left in her tissue.

The 65-year-old South Korean woman had previously been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, a condition in which the cartilage and bones within the joints degrade, causing pain and stiffness. But when pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs didn't alleviate the pain in her knees and only caused stomach discomfort, she had turned to acupuncture, the doctors wrote last week in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Acupuncture is an alternative medical practice that uses needles to purportedly stimulate certain points on the body, to alleviate pain or to treat various diseases.

Credit: The New England Journal of Medicine ©2013.

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