Advancements in the surgical and alternative treatment of arthritis

Orthopedic surgical techniques have often been introduced without sound, unbiased research demonstrating the effectiveness of the technique over previous procedures or nonsurgical options. As at least one orthopedic surgeon is fond of saying, ‘Nothing improves your outcome like the lack of a control group.’ Today’s orthopedic surgical outcome research, however, has rapidly evolved into high- quality randomized controlled trials and well-designed and executed prospective cohort studies. These studies pro- vide the best evidence of the effectiveness of a new treatment, be it a surgical intervention or nonsurgical alternative or modification to an existing technique. The purpose of this review is to evaluate the studies that have come out in the past year that may alter surgical options for patients with painful and debilitating arthritis of the extremities.

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