Do modern total knee replacements offer better value for money? A health economic analysis

David F. Hamilton*, Nicholas D. Clement, Richard Burnett, James T. Patton, Mathew Moran, Colin R. Howie, A.H.R.W. Simpson, Paul Gaston

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Cost effectiveness is an increasingly important factor in today's healthcare environment, and selection of arthroplasty implant is not exempt from such concerns. Quality adjusted life years (QALYs) are the typical tool for this type of evaluation. Using this methodology, joint arthroplasty has been shown to be cost effective; however, studies directly comparing differing prostheses are lacking. Methods: Data was gathered in a single-centre prospective double-blind randomised controlled trial comparing the outcome of modern and traditional knee implants, using the Short Form 6 dimensional (SF-6D) score and quality adjusted life year (QALY) methodology. Results: There was significant improvement in the SF-6D score for both groups at one year (p < 0.0001). The calculated overall life expectancy for the study cohort was 15.1 years, resulting in an overall QALY gain of 2.144 (95 % CI 1.752-2.507). The modern implant group demonstrated a small improvement in SF-6D score compared to the traditional design at one year (0.141 versus 0.143, p = 0.94). This difference resulted in the modern implant costing £298 less per QALY at one year. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that modern implant technology does not influence the cost-effectiveness of TKA using the SF-6D and QALY methodology. This type of analysis however assesses health status, and is not sensitive to joint specific function. Evolutionary design changes in implant technology are thus unlikely to influence QALY analysis following joint replacement, which has important implications for implant procurement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2147-2152
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Orthopaedics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • total knee arthroplasty
  • quality adjusted life year
  • minimal clinically important Difference
  • Oxford knee score
  • health economic analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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