Orthopedic surgery may not be more effective than non-surgical alternatives – Consumer Health News

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FRIDAY July 9, 2021 (HealthDay News) – No strong, high-quality evidence shows that many commonly performed elective orthopedic procedures are more effective than non-operative alternatives, according to the results of a general review published online on July 7 in BMJ.

Ashley W. Blom, MD, Ph.D., University of Bristol, UK, and colleagues performed a literature review to compare the clinical efficacy of the 10 most common elective orthopedic procedures (arthroscopic reconstruction anterior cruciate ligament repair, knee repair, arthroscopic partial meniscectomy, arthroscopic rotator cuff repair, arthroscopic subacromial decompression, carpal tunnel decompression, lumbar spine decompression, lumbar arthrodesis, total hip replacement and joint replacement total knee) versus no treatment, placebo or non-operative to worry about.

Researchers found that evidence from randomized controlled trials supports the superiority of carpal tunnel decompression and total knee replacement surgery compared to non-operative care. There were no randomized controlled trials identified that specifically compared total hip replacement or meniscal repair with non-operative care. For the other six procedures, the evidence showed no advantage over non-operative care.

“Despite the lack of solid evidence, some of these procedures are still recommended by national guidelines in certain situations,” the authors write. “There is an urgent need to prioritize research on common elective orthopedic procedures over no treatment, placebo and non-operative treatment.”

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