Choice between implants in knee replacement: protocol for a Bayesian network meta-analysis, analysis of joint registries and economic decision model to determine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of knee implants for NHS patients-The KNee Implant Prostheses Study (KNIPS)

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Knee replacements are highly successful for many people, but if a knee replacement fails, revision surgery is generally required. Surgeons and patients may choose from a range of implant components and combinations that make up knee replacement constructs, all with potential implications for how long a knee replacement will last. To inform surgeon and patient decisions, a comprehensive synthesis of data from randomised controlled trials is needed to evaluate the effects of different knee replacement implants on overall construct survival. Due to limited follow-up in trials, joint registry analyses are also needed to assess the long-term survival of constructs. Finally, economic modelling can identify cost-effective knee replacement constructs for different patient groups.

Methods and analysis
In this protocol, we describe systematic reviews and network meta-analyses to synthesise evidence on the effectiveness of knee replacement constructs used in total and unicompartmental knee replacement and analyses of two national joint registries to assess long-term outcomes. Knee replacement constructs are defined by bearing materials and mobility, constraint, fixation and patella resurfacing. For men and women in different age groups, we will compare the lifetime cost-effectiveness of knee replacement constructs.

Ethics and dissemination
Systematic reviews are secondary analyses of published data with no ethical approval required. We will design a common joint registry analysis plan and provide registry representatives with information for submission to research or ethics committees. The project has been assessed by the National Health Service (NHS) REC committee and does not require ethical review.

Study findings will be disseminated to clinicians, researchers and administrators through open access articles, presentations and websites. Specific UK-based groups will be informed of results including National Institute for Health Research and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, as well as international orthopaedic associations and charities. Effective dissemination to patients will be guided by our patient–public involvement group and include written lay summaries and infographics.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere040205
Number of pages11
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2021


  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee
  • Unicompartmental knee replacement
  • Network meta-analysis
  • Prostheses and implants
  • Cost benefit analysis
  • Registries

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