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Current Concepts Review   |    
Current Concepts Review - Sample Size and Statistical Power in Clinical Orthopaedic Research*
KEVIN B. FREEDMAN, M.D., M.S.C.E.†; JOSEPH BERNSTEIN, M.D., M.S.†, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA
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Investigation performed at the Sports Medicine Service, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Veterans' Hospital, Philadelphia
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 1999 Oct 01;81(10):1454-60
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Extract

Classic principles of treatment in orthopaedic surgery—the immobilization of fractures or the draining of infected wounds, for example—were not first established in prospective clinical trials or laboratory experiments. Rather, they were derived from perceptive observation: the methods were seen to work in practice, and they were retained. Observation has a noble history in medicine and science. Still, the modern reader is at least intuitively aware of the limitations of mere observation. Imagine if an investigator were to claim that prophylaxis against deep-vein thrombosis after hip replacement is not needed simply because only two thromboses were observed in ten patients who did not receive prophylaxis compared with three thromboses in ten patients who did. Such a study, were it to be published, would be the object of ridicule.
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    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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