Accelerated Care Cost-Effective After Joint Replacement

Perioperative care and rehabilitation protocol is associated with significant savings
By Rick Ansorge
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- In patients who receive total hip and knee arthroplasty, an accelerated perioperative care and rehabilitation protocol is more cost-effective than a more standard protocol, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Kristian Larsen, Ph.D., of the Regional Hospital Holstebro in Denmark, and colleagues studied 45 patients who received the accelerated protocol and 42 patients who received the standard protocol for 12 months.

The researchers found that the accelerated protocol was associated with significantly lower costs (an average of about $4,000) than the standard protocol. Compared to the standard protocol, they also found that the accelerated protocol following hip arthroplasty was associated with an average gain of 0.08 quality-adjusted life-years, but found that it was not associated with a significant gain following knee arthroplasty.

"On the basis of our findings and those of the study by Brunenberg et al., we now believe that the available evidence favors the use of accelerated interventions after primary total hip arthroplasty, total knee arthroplasty, and unicompartmental knee arthroplasty," the authors conclude.

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