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Placebo ‘Sham’ Procedure No Better Than Actual Surgery For Treatment Of Tennis Elbow, Study Finds

Surgical treatment of lateral epicondylitis: a prospective, randomised, blinded, placebo controlled pilot study Kroslak, Martin, Clinical School – St George Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW 2012

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.unsworks.unsw.edu.au

“The only difference observed between the groups was that patients who underwent the Nirschl procedure for Tennis Elbow [genuine surgery] had significantly more pain with activity at 2 weeks, when compared with sham surgery alone (p<0.05)”

“Conclusion: This pilot study indicates that, in the short term, surgical excision of the degenerative portion of ECRB [the tendon most often associated with classic Tennis Elbow] confers no additional benefits to patients with chronic Tennis Elbow over and above a skin incision alone.”

So, basically, one group of people had an actual surgical procedure for Tennis Elbow, and one group had a fake / sham procedure, where the skin was cut open but nothing else was done – (Obviously, the 2nd group didn’t know they weren’t getting a real surgery.)

Both groups improved equally over time, so, since the people who got the “real” surgery didn’t do any better that the people who got the fake surgery there isn’t any proof that this type of surgery actually “works” – and the “benefits” could all be due to the placebo effect, which is one of the most powerful “drugs” known to man and medicine.

See on Scoop.itTennis Elbow Treatment

And this related post on ‘Surgery, The Ultimate Placebo’


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