ACL reconstruction is cost-effective
Acute tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are common injuries among competitive athletes, and following treatment these players need to return to competitive play quickly. This is usually possible, as ACL reconstruction has high success rates for return to play, report US-American orthopedic surgeons at the University of Alabama. Now, the present study also demonstrated that ACL reconstruction – compared to physical therapy – is a cost-effective strategy for competitive athletes.
The authors analyzed incremental cost, incremental effectiveness, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of ACL reconstruction and compared the results with those under physical therapy. They found that the ICER of ACL reconstruction vs. physical therapy was $22,702 per QALY gained. The ICER was most sensitive to the quality of life of returning to play or not returning to play, costs, and duration of follow-up, but relatively insensitive to the rates and costs of complications, probabilities of return to play for both operative and non-operative treatments, and discount rate.
ACL reconstruction is a cost-effective strategy for competitive athletes with an ACL injury.