Costs of unicompartmental compared with total knee Arthroplasty: A matched cohort study over ten years

R. A. Burnett, J. Yang, P. M. Courtney, E. B. Terhune, C. P. Hannon, C. J.Della Valle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Aims The aim of this study was to compare ten-year longitudinal healthcare costs and revision rates for patients undergoing unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Methods The humana database was used to compare 2,383 patients undergoing UKA between 2007 and 2009, who were matched 1:1 from a cohort of 63,036 patients undergoing primary TKA based on age, sex, and elixhauser comorbidity index. Medical and surgical complications were tracked longitudinally for one year following surgery. Rates of revision surgery and cumulative mean healthcare costs were recorded for this period of time and compared between the cohorts. Results Patients undergoing TKA had significantly higher rates of manipulation under anaesthesia (3.9% vs 0.9%; p < 0.001), deep vein thrombosis (5.0% vs 3.1%; p < 0.001), pulmonary embolism (1.5% vs 0.8%; p = 0.001), and renal failure (4.2% vs 2.2%; p < 0.001). Revision rates, however, were significantly higher for UKA at five years (6.0% vs 4.2%; p = 0.007) and ten years postoperatively (6.5% vs 4.4%; p = 0.002). Longitudinal-related healthcare costs for patients undergoing TKA were greater than for those undergoing UKA at one year ($24,771 vs $22,071; p < 0.001) and five years following surgery ($26,549 vs $25,730; p < 0.001); however, the mean costs of TKA were comparable to UKA at ten years ($26,877 vs $26,891; p = 0.425). conclusion Despite higher revision rates, patients undergoing UKA had lower mean healthcare costs than those undergoing TKA up to ten years following the procedure, at which time costs were comparable. in the era of value-based care, surgeons and policymakers should be aware of the costs involved with these procedures. UKA was associated with fewer complications at one year postoperatively but higher revision rates at five and ten years. While UKA was significantly less costly than TKA at one and five years, costs at ten years were comparable with a mean difference of only $14. Lowering the risk of revision surgery should be targeted as a source of cost savings for both UKA and TKA as the mean related healthcare costs were 2.5-fold higher in patients requiring revision surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-31
Number of pages9
JournalBone and Joint Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 2021


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