Is Two-level Cervical Disc Replacement More Cost-effective Than Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion at 7 Years?

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Abstract

Study Design.

Cost-effectiveness analysis.

Objective.

To investigate 7-years cost-effectiveness of two-level cervical disc replacement (CDR) and anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF).

Summary of Background Data.

CDR and ACDF are both effective treatment strategies for managing degenerative conditions of the cervical spine. CDR has been shown to be a more-cost effective intervention in the short term, but the long-term cost-effectiveness has not been established.

Methods.

We analyzed 7-years follow-up data from the two-level Medtronic Prestige LP investigational device exemption study. Short-form 36 (SF-36) data were converted into health utility scores using the SF-6D algorithm. Costs were based on direct costs from the payer perspective, and effectiveness was measured as quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). The willingness-to-pay (WTP) threshold was set to $50,000/QALY. A probabilistic sensitivity analysis was conducted via Monte Carlo simulation.

Results.

Two-level CDR had a 7-year cost of $176,654.19, generated 4.65 QALYs, and had a cost-effectiveness ratio of $37,993.53/QALY. Two-level ACDF had a 7-year cost of $158,373.48, generated 4.44 QALYs, and had a cost-effectiveness ratio of $35,635.72. CDR was associated with an incremental cost of $18,280.71 and an incremental effectiveness of 0.21 QALYs, resulting in an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of $89,021.04, above the WTP threshold. Our Monte Carlo simulation demonstrated CDR would be chosen 46% of the time based on 10,000 simulations.

Conclusion.

Two-level CDR and ACDF are both cost-effective procedures at 7-year follow up for treating degenerative conditions of the cervical spine. Based on an ICER of $89,021.04/QALY, we cannot conclude which treatment is the more cost-effective option at 7-years. CDR would be chosen 46% of the time based on 10,000 iterations of our Monte Carlo probabilistic sensitivity analysis.

Conclusion.

Level of Evidence: 3

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