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A common treatment doesn’t necessarily equal an effective one

When receiving a treatment that a doctor recommended, patients generally trust that the treatment is one that actually has the potential to help them with their particular medical condition. Unnecessary treatments can have negative consequences for patients, as some treatments can have risks associated with them that patients would be needlessly exposed to if they were given the treatment when it was not likely to have a positive effect. So, one would generally hope doctors would be taking evidence of effectiveness into account when deciding what treatments to recommend.

However, a recent article on the Washington Post’s website indicates that some treatments have remained common despite the fact that recent research had pointed to them not being as effective in as wide of range of circumstances as was initially thought. The three common treatments that the article identified as being in this category were:

  • Back pain injections.
  • Arthroscopic knee surgery.
  • Stents.

This does not mean that these treatments are never the right ones for a patient, rather it raises the possibility that they are perhaps being used more often than is needed. So, when it comes to recommending these types of treatments, or any type of treatment for that matter, one would hope doctors would carefully think about whether the treatment is likely to have a positive impact on the patient given available evidence and the patient’s unique circumstances, rather than just relying on things like the treatment being a relatively common one.

What treatments a doctor recommends for a patient can matter greatly. When a patient ends up being harmed as a result of going with a treatment suggested by a doctor and suspects that the doctor may have been negligent in their treatment recommendations, skilled attorneys can investigate the circumstances of the recommendations for the patient to see if there are any signs that conduct occurred that could be the basis for a malpractice claim.

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