The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 7, S307 - S311

The Cost Effectiveness of Dilute Betadine Lavage for Infection Prophylaxis in Total Joint Arthroplasty

Yehuda E. Kerbel, Gregory J. Kirchner, Anisha R. Sunkerneni, Alexander M. Lieber, Vincent M. Moretti
Hip Knee


This article presents a break-even analysis for intraoperative Betadine lavage for the prevention of infection in total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA).


Protocol costs, baseline infection rates after arthroplasty, and average revision costs were obtained from institutional records and the literature. The break-even analysis determined the absolute risk reduction (ARR) in infection rate required for cost effectiveness.


At our institutional price of $2.54, dilute (0.35%) Betadine lavage would be cost effective if initial infection rates of both TKA (1.10%) and THA (1.63%) have an ARR of 0.01%. At a hypothetical lowest cost of $0.50, the ARR is so low as to be immediately cost effective. At a hypothetical high price of $40.00, Betadine is cost effective with ARRs of 0.16% (TKA) and 0.13% (THA).


Intraoperative Betadine lavage, at typical institutional prices, can be highly cost effective in reducing infection after joint arthroplasty.

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