Knee Surgery Totals $12B in Societal Savings

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The societal savings from knee arthroplasty performed in the United States in 2009 was approximately $12 billion, according to an article published in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

The authors of the article, including Javad Parvizi, MD, and John Tongue, MD, used a Markov model to estimate the value of total knee arthroplasty for patients with end-stage osteoarthritis. They compared direct and indirect costs between surgical and nonsurgical treatment. Quality of life measures were also taken into account.

According to the report, total knee arthroplasty increased lifetime direct costs by an average of $20,635, which was offset by a societal savings of $39,565 from reduced indirect costs. The resulting net benefit was $18,930 per patient with 85 percent of these savings coming from increased employment and earnings. The authors also noted 15 percent fewer missed work days and lower disability payments among knee arthroplasty patients.

In 2009, there were more than 600,000 total knee arthroplasties performed in the United States, totaling around $12 billion in societal savings.

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