Surgery – The Ultimate Placebo – Ian Harris
As it turns our sham surgery is often as successful as real surgery.
Arthroscopic knee surgery was no better than the sham surgery for the treatment of degenerative changes involving the meniscus of the knee.
Vertebroplasty may also not be any better than the sham for treating low back problems.
The placebo effect of invasive procedures is so strong that sham injections were used in the evaluation of VEGF inhibitors in the treatment of wet macular degeneration. In this case the treatment performed better than the sham.
The question we must ask ourselves is why are surgeons still preforming surgeries that have proven to be no better than the sham? Perhaps they do not trust published research. If so, they may have good reason. A high proportion of research papers have been shown to have critical data and statistical errors in addition to outright fraud.