Cost-Effectiveness of Hip Arthroscopy for Treatment of Femoroacetabular Impingement Syndrome and Labral Tears: A Systematic Review


Background: Hip arthroscopy has frequently been shown to produce successful outcomes as a treatment for femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) and labral tears. However, there is less literature on whether the favorable results of hip arthroscopy can justify the costs, especially when compared with a nonoperative treatment.

Purpose: To systematically review the cost-effectiveness of hip arthroscopy for treating FAI and labral tears.

Study design: Systematic review; Level of evidence, 3.

Methods: PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases, and the Tufts University Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Registry were searched to identify articles that reported the cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) generated by hip arthroscopy. The key terms used were "hip arthroscopy," "cost," "utility," and "economic evaluation." The threshold for cost-effectiveness was set at $50,000/QALY. The Methodological Index for Non-Randomized Studies instrument and Quality of Health Economic Studies (QHES) score were used to determine the quality of the studies. This study was prospectively registered on PROSPERO (CRD42020172991).

Results: Six studies that reported the cost-effectiveness of hip arthroscopy were identified, and 5 of these studies compared hip arthroscopy to a nonoperative comparator. These studies were found to have a mean QHES score of 85.2 and a mean cohort age that ranged from 33-37 years. From both a health care system perspective and a societal perspective, 4 studies reported that hip arthroscopy was more costly but resulted in far greater gains than did nonoperative treatment. The preferred treatment strategy was most sensitive to duration of benefit, preoperative osteoarthritis, cost of the arthroscopy, and the improvement in QALYs with hip arthroscopy.

Conclusion: In the majority of the studies, hip arthroscopy had a higher initial cost but provided greater gain in QALYs than did a nonoperative treatment. In certain cases, hip arthroscopy can be cost-effective given a long enough duration of benefit and appropriate patient selection. However, there is further need for literature to analyze willingness-to-pay thresholds.

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