The Increasing Financial Burden of Knee Revision Surgery in the United States

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The popularity of total knee arthroplasty combined with the aging US population indicates a dramatic increase in revision TKA procedures. Our objective was to project revision surgery costs in the United States, and to estimate the financial burden for hospitals historically under-reimbursed for these complex surgical procedures. Inflation adjusted charge data derived from a series of knee revision surgeries performed by a single surgeon practice (CJL) (n = 100) were applied to population projections of the number of revision surgeries expected for the Medicare population from 2005-2030. The average charge of TKA revision surgery was $73,696, (Cost was $36,848) with substantially higher costs for patients undergoing surgery because of deep joint infection, patients receiving a three component exchange, and patients receiving hinged or constrained condylar knee implants. The number of revision procedures is expected to increase from 37,544 in 2005 to 56,918 in 2030. Projected hospital costs for these procedures may exceed $2 billion by 2030. The number of revision knee surgeries may increase by 66% in the next 25 years. Reimbursement rates will not cover hospital costs for this procedure despite recent increases in Medicare payments for revision arthroplasty.

Level of Evidence: Economic analysis study, level III. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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