Sham Surgery as the Surgical “Placebo” in Orthopedic Trials

Sham Surgery as the Surgical “Placebo” in Orthopedic Trials

Welcome to the OrthoJOE podcast with Dr. Marc Swiontkowski and Dr. Mohit Bhandari. In this episode of OrthoJOE, we’ll be talking about sham surgeries. What is sham surgery and why do we need it? Is it morally ethical to use sham controls? We talk about avoiding bias and the feasibility of using sham controls. What are the benefits? Do they outweigh the moral ramifications?

If you have any comments, questions, or topics you would like us to cover, please feel free to reach out so we can read your messages and possibly answer your questions during the next episode of OrthoJOE.

Talking Points:

  • The three things most people should remember about sham surgery
  • Agreeing on the definition of sham surgery
  • How do you avoid bias?
  • Psychological state of patients and how physicians can affect that
  • The feasibility of sham surgeries 
  • The difference sham surgeries and a placebo trial


My Ortho Evidence Website: https://myorthoevidence.com/Blog/Show/106

Sham surgery resources

Brought to you by Mohit Bhandari and Marc Swiontkowski of OrthoJOE