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J Arthroplasty. 2013 Mar;28(3):449-54. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2012.06.036. Epub 2012 Nov 8.

Mortality, cost, and health outcomes of total knee arthroplasty in Medicare patients.

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Exponent, Inc., Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA.


There are little data that quantify the long term costs, mortality, and downstream disease after Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA). The purpose of this study is to compare differences in cost and health outcomes between Medicare patients with OA who undergo TKA and those who avoid the procedure. The Medicare 5% sample was used to identify patients diagnosed with OA during 1997-2009. All OA patients were separated into non-arthroplasty and arthroplasty groups. Differences in costs, mortality, and new disease diagnoses were adjusted using logistic regression for age, sex, race, buy-in status, region, and Charlson score. The 7-year cumulative average Medicare payments for all treatments were $63,940 for the non-TKA group and $83,783 for the TKA group. The risk adjusted mortality hazard ratio (HR) of the TKA group ranged from 0.48 to 0.54 through seven years (all P<0.001). The risk of heart failure in the TKA group was 40.9% at 7years (HR=0.93, P<0.001). The results demonstrate the patients in the TKA cohort as having a lower probability of heart failure and mortality, at a total incremental cost of $19,843.

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