TUESDAY, Oct. 8 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with end-stage osteoarthritis of the knee, total knee arthroplasty is associated with a lifetime societal net benefit, according to a study published in the Aug. 21 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.
David Ruiz Jr., from KNG Health Consulting in Rockville, Md., and colleagues used a Markov model to estimate the value of total knee arthroplasty for patients with end-stage osteoarthritis of the knee. Direct costs (all medical costs for surgical and non-surgical treatment) and indirect costs (lost wages due to an inability to work, lower earnings, or receipt of disability payments) were included in the model, which was used to estimate the impact of knee arthroplasty on lifetime costs.
The researchers found that total knee arthroplasty correlated with increased lifetime direct costs (mean of $20,635), compared with non-surgical treatment. However, societal savings of $39,565 from reduced indirect costs offset the direct costs, resulting in a lifetime societal net benefit of $18,930 per patient from total knee arthroplasty. The majority of these savings (85 percent) resulted from increased employment and earnings; fewer missed workdays and lower disability payments accounted for the remaining 15 percent of the savings.
"The estimated lifetime societal savings from the more than 600,000 total knee arthroplasties performed in the United States in 2009 were estimated to be approximately $12 billion," the authors write.
One or more of the authors disclosed financial ties to a third party in the biomedical arena in support of this work.