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Study Reveals Common Orthopedic Procedures Lack Quality in UK

Jul, 2021 - By WMR

Study Reveals Common Orthopedic Procedures Lack Quality in UK

A study conducted by a team of researchers in the U.K. considered data from previous analyses and other studies to interpret the clinical effectiveness of common orthopedic procedures in the U.K.

According to National Health Services, musculoskeletal conditions affect approximately 1 in 4 adults in the U.K. every year. Importantly, most common orthopedic procedures such as shoulder repair surgery, hip replacements, and others in the U.K. are not supported by high quality evidence, owing to the lack of definitive trials. In this current study, the researchers found that national clinical guidelines recommend several interventions. However, there are concerns regarding many surgical interventions due to the absence of high quality evidence or readily available clinical effectiveness that can support their use. Despite this, in certain situations some of these procedures are recommended by national guidelines.

The researchers interpreted various findings associated with each orthopedic procedure such as total hip and knee replacement, knee cartilage repair, carpel tunnel decompression surgery, and others based on national guidelines. They examined if these guidelines reflect the body of available evidence. They found randomized controlled trial evidence that favored the superiority of total knee replacement and carpel tunnel decompression in comparison to non-operative care. Although, as per national guidelines seven of the orthopedic procedures have been recommended for use, yet there is a lack of a high quality body of evidence that can support these recommendations. However, the researchers discarded the fact that the lack of high quality evidence does not mean the treatments are ineffective, but for determining the true effect of the treatment it is necessary to have evidence from randomized controlled trials.

The researchers stress on the urgent need to prioritize research, mainly those procedures that have limited evidence base. They pointed out their review is a detailed analysis of well-known databases and guidelines and their recommendations can be applicable to different healthcare settings.

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