1. Knee joint distraction compared to total knee arthroplasty for treatment

of end stage osteoarthritis: Simulating long-term outcomes and cost-effectiveness.


Van der Woude JAD, Nair SC, Welsing PM, Castelein RM, Van Laar J, Lafeber FPJG.


PLoS One. 2016 May 12;11(5):e0155524.


Objective: In end-stage knee osteoarthritis the treatment of choice is total knee arthroplasty (TKA). An alternative treatment is knee joint distraction (KJD), suggested to postpone TKA. Several studies reported significant and prolonged clinical improvement of KJD. To make an appropriate decision regarding the position of this treatment, a cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analysis from healthcare perspective for different age and gender categories was performed.

Methods: A treatment strategy starting with TKA and a strategy starting with KJD for patients of different age and gender was simulated. To extrapolate outcomes to long-term health and economic outcomes a Markov (Health state) model was used. The number of surgeries, QALYs, and treatment costs per strategy were calculated. Costs-effectiveness is expressed using the cost-effectiveness plane and cost-effectiveness acceptability curves.

Results: Starting with KJD the number of knee replacing procedures could be reduced, most clearly in the younger age categories; especially revision surgery. This resulted in the KJD strategy being dominant (more effective with cost-savings) in about 80% of simulations (with only inferiority in about 1%) in these age categories when compared to TKA. At a willingness to pay of 20.000 Euro per QALY gained, the probability of starting with KJD to be cost-effective compared to starting with a TKA was already found to be over 75% for all age categories and over 90-95% for the younger age categories.

Conclusion: A treatment strategy starting with knee joint distraction for knee osteoarthritis has a large potential for being a cost-effective intervention, especially for the relatively young patient.