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The Cost Effectiveness of Unicompartmental versus Total Knee Arthroplasty

Ibin Varughese, Sarah L. Whitehouse, William J. Donnelly,
Published: 25 October 2022

Abstract: This study examines the potential cost savings for the health system and the community in a broadly accessible model through the increased utilization of unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) using robotic arm-assisted UKA (raUKA) versus conventional total knee arthroplasty (cTKA). We retrospectively reviewed 240 patients where the first 120 consecutive raUKA performed during this period were matched to 120 cTKAs. Clinical data from the medical records and costs for procedure for each component were collected. Bivariate analyses were performed on the data to determine if there were statistically significant differences by surgery type in clinical outcomes and financial costs. There was a significantly lower cost incurred for raUKA versus cTKA with an average saving of AU$7,179 per case. The operating time (86.0 vs. 75.9 minutes; p = 0.004) was significantly higher for raUKA, but the length of stay was significantly lower (1.8 vs. 4.8 days; p < 0.001). There was a significant difference in the use of opioids between raUKA and cTKA (125.0 morphine equivalent [ME] vs. 522.1 ME, p < 0.001). This study demonstrated that the use of raUKA rather than cTKA in suitably indicated patients may realize significant cost savings.
Keywords: knee arthroplasty / Unicompartmental / cTKA / raUKA / model / cost / significantly lower

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