Background The Arthroplasty Pain Experience (APEX) studies are two randomised controlled trials in primary total hip (THR) and total knee replacement (TKR) at a large UK orthopaedics centre. APEX investigated the effect of local anaesthetic wound infiltration (LAI), administered before wound closure, in addition to standard analgesia, on pain severity at 12 months. This article reports results of the within-trial economic evaluations. Methods Cost-effectiveness was assessed from the health and social care payer perspective in relation to quality adjusted life years (QALYs) and the primary clinical outcome, the WOMAC Pain score at 12-months follow-up. Resource use was collected from hospital records and patient-completed postal questionnaires, and valued using unit cost estimates from local NHS Trust finance department and national tariffs. Missing data were addressed using multiple imputation chained equations. Costs and outcomes were compared per trial arm and plotted in cost-effectiveness planes. If no arm was dominant (i.e., more effective and less expensive than the other), incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were estimated. The economic results were bootstrapped incremental net monetary benefit statistics (INMB) and cost-effectiveness acceptability curves. One-way deterministic sensitivity analyses explored any methodological uncertainty. Results In both the THR and TKR trials, LAI was the dominant treatment: cost-saving and more effective than standard care, in relation to QALYs and WOMAC Pain. Using the £20,000 per QALY threshold, in THR, the INMB was £1,125 (95 % BCI, £183 to £2,067) and the probability of being cost-effective was over 98 %. In TKR, the INMB was £264 (95 % BCI, −£710 to £1,238), but there was only 62 % probability of being cost-effective. When considering an NHS perspective only, LAI was no longer dominant in THR, but still highly cost-effective, with an INMB of £961 (95 % BCI, £50 to £1,873). Conclusions Administering LAI is a cost-effective treatment option in THR and TKR surgeries. The evidence, because of larger QALY gain, is stronger for THR. In TKR, there is more uncertainty around the economic result, and smaller QALY gains. Results, however, point to LAI being cheaper than standard analgesia, which includes a femoral nerve block.
|Early online date||26 Jun 2015|
|Publication status||Published - 26 Jun 2015|
- Centre for Surgical Research
- Total hip replacement
- Total knee replacement
- Trial-based economic evaluation
- Local anaesthetic wound infiltration
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- Bristol Medical School - Head of School
- Bristol Medical School (THS) - Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
- Bristol Population Health Science Institute
- Musculoskeletal Research Unit
- Orthopaedic Surgery
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