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Common Elective Orthopedic Procedures: Does Research Support Their Use?


Elective orthopedic procedures are among the most commonly performed surgeries. Although there is usually identifiable pathology (eg, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis) that could be considered an indication or these procedures, most are usually performed to reduce or eliminate pain and improve function.

It could be assumed that the efficacy of these procedures has been supported by high quality evidence, particularly randomized controlled trials (RCTs), but a recent umbrella review published in the British Medical Journal calls this into question. Researchers examined meta-analyses of RCTs or of other study designs in absence of RCTs to compare the effectiveness of the 10 most common elective orthopedic procedures with no treatment, placebo, or non-operative care.

In the slides below, find a recap of the findings for each procedure and key takeaways for your clinical practice.

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