New study questions effectiveness of invasive procedures for chronic pain
There is “little evidence” that invasive surgery is more effective than sham or placebo procedures in reducing chronic pain says an extensive review of the evidence published in Pain Medicine.
Over 25 studies involving surgeries on 2,000 people were reviewed. Overall, the researchers concluded that “evidence does not support the use of invasive procedures as compared with sham procedures for patients with chronic back or knee pain. Given their high costs and safety concerns, more rigorous studies are required before invasive procedures are routinely used for patients with chronic pain.”
And a meta-analysis on outcomes in seven studies of low back pain and three on knee osteoarthritis showed no difference in pain at six months compared with sham procedures.
Dr Wayne B Jonas, who is involved in the work, comments:
“Because of the high costs and risks associated with these procedures and the vast number of people who are exposed to those risks, we need to focus on building evidence to support these methods.”
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