Cost Savings are Good News as Aging Population Rapidly Increases Demand for
Relief from Chronic Knee Pain
ROSEMONT, Ill., Aug. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The full impact of knee
replacement surgery on both patients' lives and on society includes significant
overall cost savings, according to a new study published in the Journal of Bone
and Joint Surgery (JBJS). Researchers found that for the average patient
undergoing knee replacement surgery, the expense of surgery is offset by
indirect savings of nearly $40,000. This translates to an average lifetime
societal benefit of $10,000-$30,000. Most of the societal savings come from the
patient's ability to maintain employment and increase earnings over a longer
time in the workforce. The study also found benefits from fewer missed worked
days and lower disability payments.
As an aging population stays in the workforce longer and obesity rates continue
to climb, demand for total knee replacement surgery is expected to exceed 3
million by the year 2030 - up from 600,000 in 2009. Now with a new way of
comparing direct and indirect costs between surgical and non-surgical
treatments, patients suffering from end-stage osteoarthritis of the knee are
able to get a quantitative look at the overall cost benefits of knee replacement
surgery relative to the societal and economic savings.
"We know that when a knee replacement is done on patients at the appropriate
time, it adds tremendous value to their lives. It gets them back to work and
back to their families. It improves their quality of life and allows them to be
productive and active again," said John R. Tongue, MD, American Academy of
Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) past-president. "But until now, that value has been
hard to quantify. This study allows patients to see the big picture of the
effect on their daily lives and in the long term."
Dr. Tongue adds, "Demographics of knee replacement patients have dramatically
changed as baby boomers age. They want and need to stay active but their joints
can't always keep up. In this economic environment, this study provides a new
way of looking at cost that offers perspective to this growing population."
The study, "The Direct and Indirect Costs to Society of Treatment for End-Stage
Knee Osteoarthritis," confirmed total knee replacement surgery to be a
cost-effective treatment for patients with end-stage osteoarthritis and
estimates lifetime societal savings of about $12 billion from the more than
600,000 total knee replacement surgeries performed in the U.S. in 2009. These
societal savings primarily accrue to working patients and employers.
Total knee replacement (or total knee arthroplasty (TKA)) is one of the most
successful and life-enhancing surgical procedures. It significantly relieves
pain for 90 percent of the patients who have the procedure, allowing them to
return to work and tremendously improving their quality of life.
"With the new model we created for this study, we have opened the door to
evaluate societal benefit for other types of health care services as well, which
is truly exciting," said study author and health care economist Lane Koenig,
Ph.D. "The benefit of successful treatment of bone and joint conditions in the
long term is known by the patients who've been through it, but these data offer
evidence on the societal effects that will add to the conversation people are
having about improved, cost-conscious health care."
To conduct the study, researchers reviewed literature and Medicare claims data
and collected patient reported outcomes data. The collected data were applied to
a Markov Decision Model where they estimated the total societal savings
associated with knee replacement surgery by comparing costs for direct medical
care and indirect costs, including lost wages from work and disability payments
for both surgical and non-surgical treatments.
The full study is available at www.ANationInMotion.org/value/knee. Video and
audio pertaining to this news can also be found at
AAOS commissioned KNG Health Consulting, LLC (KNG Health) and its partner, IHS
Global Inc., to prepare this study.
JBJS, Inc., is a not-for-profit publisher specializing in orthopaedic
information. It publishes the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, which has been
the most valued source of information for orthopaedic surgeons and researchers
for over 100 years and is the gold standard in peer-reviewed scientific
information in the field -- a core journal and essential reading for orthopaedic
surgeons worldwide. Other publications include JBJS Case Connector and JBJS
Essential Surgical Techniques. For more information, visit www.jbjs.org.
A Nation in Motion(R)
More than one in four Americans have bone or joint health problems, making them
the greatest cause of lost work days in the U.S. When orthopaedic surgeons
restore mobility and reduce pain, they help people get back to work and to
independent, productive lives. Orthopaedic surgeons provide a great value in
American medicine in both human and economic terms and access to high-quality
orthopaedic care keeps this "Nation in Motion." To learn more, to read hundreds
of patient stories or to submit your own story, visit ANationInMotion.org.
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SOURCE American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons