EFORT Annual Congress

EFORT Annual Congress

July 20, 2018
2 min read

Use of hyaluronic acid for knee OA may yield cost savings

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BARCELONA, Spain — Use of hyaluronic acid as conservative treatment for patients with knee osteoarthritis had a potential cost savings of $1.5 billion, according to results presented here.

Kevin L. Ong

“Although there was a fraction of patients who failed conservative care in terms of the use of [hyaluronic acid] HA and subsequently underwent knee arthroplasty, HA only contributed a small fraction of their total cost,” Kevin L. Ong, PhD, PE, said in his presentation at the EFORT Annual Congress.

Of 2 million patients who had knee OA during a 10-year period, Ong and colleagues found 1.94 million did not undergo treatment with HA and 88,000 patients did receive HA. Within a 2-year period, results showed an overall treatment cost of almost $5 billion.

“We did find that only 3.2% of these patients underwent knee arthroplasty within this 2-year period,” Ong said. “However, they contributed 69% of the costs in this cohort.”

Ong noted 15.9% of patients who received HA also underwent knee arthroplasty, but that 1.7% of the overall cost was related to HA. Among the 85% of patients who did not undergo knee arthroplasty, researchers estimated it would have cost $1.8 billion if they had undergone knee arthroplasty.

“By not undergoing knee arthroplasty or any subsequent care associated with knee arthroplasty, such as revision knee arthroplasty, they saved about $20,700 a patient,” Ong said.

Patients who underwent knee arthroplasty accumulated an additional cost of $8,500 a patient, according to Ong. He added that compared to patients who did not undergo knee arthroplasty, patients who underwent knee arthroplasty utilized opioids at a higher rate regardless of whether they received HA.

“For the knee arthroplasty patients, when we evaluated the use of their health care resources before and after knee arthroplasty, we found that almost 80% of the [physical therapy] PT was associated with post-knee arthroplasty and we found that a substantial percentage of the office visits were also associated within the post-knee arthroplasty period,” Ong said. – by Casey Tingle



Ong KL, et al. Paper 478. Presented at: EFORT Annual Congress; May 30-June1, 2018; Barcelona, Spain.


Disclosure s : Ong reports he receives research support from DJ Orthopaedics, Ethicon, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Joerns Healthcare, Karl Storz Endoscopy-America, Medtronic, Ossur, Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Paradigm Spine, Sanofi-Aventis, SpineFrontier, St. Jude Medical, Stryker and Zimmer; is on the editorial or governing board for Journal of Arthroplasty; and receives publishing royalties, financial or material support from Taylor & Francis.