Cost Analysis of All-Polyethylene Compared to Metal-Backed Implants in Total Knee Arthroplasty

Karim Sabeh, Milad Alam, Samuel Rosas, Shahrose Hussain, Michaela Schneiderbauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: The growing trends of total knee arthroplasty (TKA) foreshadow an inevitable increase in the financial burden on healthcare expenditure estimated to almost nine billion dollars annually. This study aims to demonstrate the potential savings when using all-polyethylene (AP) compared to metal-backed (MB) tibial components and describes the cost variability amongst three major commercially available implants.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The cost of AP versus MB implants was analyzed using a large nationwide database, Emergency Care Research Institute (ECRI). Cost of femoral components and patellar buttons were excluded. The three manufacturers included in the study were DePuy, Smith&Nephew, and Stryker (Zimmer data was not available for analysis).

RESULTS: Our results show that AP components were significantly less costly in comparison to other manufacturers, and the average AP price was $1,009. The average MB (baseplate plus liner) price was $2,054 (p<0.01). Analysis of variance (ANOVA) of the means of the AP components showed no significant difference in prices among the three studied manufacturers (p=0.946).

DISCUSSION: Our results demonstrate that, regardless of the manufacturing company, AP tibial components are significantly cheaper than their MB counterparts. A literature review revealed that, when indicated, AP implants are not inferior to MB in terms of survivorship or outcome. The average savings was more than $1,000 per TKA when multiplied even by a small portion of the large volume of TKAs completed annually. This can translate into millions of dollars in savings in healthcare expenditures. With the impending legislation of the bundled-payment initiative, orthopaedic surgeons should be aware of less costly implant options that can positively impact outcomes and/or quality of care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-255
Number of pages7
JournalSurgical technology international
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Cost Analysis of All-Polyethylene Compared to Metal-Backed Implants in Total Knee Arthroplasty'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this