The objective of the study was to depict treatment strategies, health care utilisation and cost evaluation of hip and knee replacement surgery in Germany, with a particular emphasis on thrombosis prophylaxis (TP) for the prevention of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). In this multi-centre prospective cohort study, medical record data (socio-demographics, risk factors for thrombosis, thrombosis prophylaxis, course of hospital stay) were collected for patients undergoing either total hip replacement (THR) or total knee replacement (TKR). One and three months post-operatively, post-operative outcomes and health care resource use were documented by patient and physician questionnaires. A total of 309 patients participated in the study (59% female, mean age 66 [SD 10] years). Parenteral anticoagulation was administered for a mean of 38 (SD 16) days. 27 (9%) patients received subsequent oral anticoagulation for a mean of 38 (SD 21) additional days. Symptomatic DVT was reported by four (1.3%) patients. Mean overall direct costs associated with surgery from baseline to 3 months were EUR 11 264 (median 11 564, SD 2 481). Hospital and rehabilitation accounted for 97% of direct costs; costs for medications, physical therapy, physician office visits, out-of-pocket expenses, as well as complication costs accounted for an additional 3% of direct costs. Within these direct costs, a mean of EUR 348 (SD 361) was related to thrombosis prophylaxis, accounting for 3% of direct costs. Mean overall cost was EUR 11 926 (SD 2 481), including 6% indirect costs of productivity loss. Extended thrombosis prophylaxis was observed in the usual care setting of the study and associated with low incidence of symptomatic DVT. Thrombosis prophylaxis is - within the considerable economic burden of joint replacement surgery - a relatively small cost component.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.