A 65-year-old South Korean woman was experiencing severe joint pain in her knees, and when doctors examined her they couldn't believe what they found.

The woman had been previously diagnosed with osteoarthritis, a condition in which the cartilage and bones within joints degrade, causing pain and stiffness. She took over-the-counter painkillers with little success for her condition, so she then turned to acupuncture. Acupuncture is an alternative treatment that uses needles to stimulate certain points of the body for pain relief. However, she began experiencing severe joint pain, so doctors examined an X-ray image of her knees and found hundreds of tiny gold acupuncture needles left in her tissue.

It turned out that the acupuncturist intentionally left the needles, made of gold, in her knee to continue stimulation. Dr. Ali Guermazi, a professor of radiology at Boston University who wasn't involved with the case, states that foreign objects left in the body can lead to inflammation, abscesses, and infection.

So, before your next acupuncture visit, remember that leaving needles in your body may not serve you as well as you were led to believe.