The Journal of Arthroplasty , Volume 33 , Issue 11 , 3412 - 3415

Patellar Resurfacing in Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

Weeks, Colleen A. et al.


This study estimates the cost-effectiveness of patellar resurfacing in total knee arthroplasty (TKA).


We conducted a cost-effectiveness analysis using a decision analytic model representing a hypothetical TKA cohort, with or without patellar resurfacing, using data from the 2014 Australian Registry. The model represents 3 possible postoperative health states: (1) well, (2) patellofemoral pain, or (3) serious adverse event (any event resulting in a revision). Our effectiveness outcome was the quality-adjusted life year, from published utility scores. We estimated cost-effectiveness from a Canadian public healthcare payer perspective. Costs and quality of life were valued in 2015 United States dollars and discounted annually at 5%.


Our results suggest that TKA with resurfacing is cost-effective compared to nonresurfacing. Unresurfacing the patellae resulted in higher costs ($13,296.63 vs $12,917.01) and lower quality-adjusted life year (5.37 vs 6.01) at 14 years. Sensitivity analysis suggests that if rates of secondary resurfacing are <0.5%, there was no cost difference.


Over 14 years postoperative, patellar resurfacing appears to be cost-effective, due to higher revision rates for unresurfaced TKA. Although our results suggest resurfacing improves quality of life, our model is limited by the availability and validity of long-term utility outcomes reported for TKA. Our cost-effectiveness analysis showed superiority of the resurfacing compared to retention of the patella.

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