Unlike drugs, orthopedic surgeries can be sold to the public before they undergo any rigorous testing to ensure they are safe and effective. Thus, millions of surgeries for knee, shoulder, and back pain have been done even without any research to confirm they actually work. Recently, a significant amount of such research has been completed, and it has found that many popular surgeries work no better than a placebo. And yet many of these surgeries are still being performed at the rate of hundreds of thousands per year.
Yes, its depressing. But this is something you should know about if you are in the business of treating chronic pain, or if you have chronic pain and are considering surgery. Read on for a detailed review of relevant research. (By the way, most of the following is an excerpt from my upcoming book, Playing With Movement).
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