Cost comparison and complication profiles of superior capsular reconstruction, lower trapezius transfer, and reverse shoulder arthroplasty for irreparable rotator cuff tears

Erick M. Marigi, Quinn J. Johnson, Ruchita Dholakia, Bijan J. Borah, Joaquin Sanchez-Sotelo, John W. Sperling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Irreparable rotator cuff tears (IRCTs) pose treatment challenges both clinically and financially. As cost-effectiveness initiatives are prioritized, value-based health care delivery models are becoming increasingly common. The purpose of this study was to perform a comprehensive analysis of the cost, complications, and readmission rates of 3 common surgical treatment options for IRCTs: superior capsular reconstruction (SCR), arthroscopically assisted lower trapezius tendon transfer (LTTT), and reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA). Methods: Between 2018 and 2020, 155 patients who underwent shoulder surgery at a single institution for IRCT with minimal to no arthritis were identified. Procedures performed included 20 SCRs, 47 LTTTs, and 88 RSAs. A cost analysis was designed to include a period of 60 days preoperatively, the index surgical hospitalization, and 90 days postoperatively, including costs of any readmission or reoperation. Results: Mean standardized costs were as follows: preoperative evaluation SCR $507, LTTT $507, and RSA $730; index surgical hospitalization SCR $19,675, LTTT $15,722, and RSA $16,077; and postoperative care SCR $655, LTTT $686, and RSA $404. Significant differences were observed in the index surgical costs (P < .001), with SCR incurring an additional average cost of $3953 and $3598 compared with LTTT and RSA, respectively. The 90-day complication, reoperation, and readmission rates were 0%, 0%, and 0% in the SCR group; 2.1%, 0%, and 0% in the LTTT group; and 3.4%, 0%, and 1.1% in the RSA group, respectively. With the numbers available, differences among the 3 surgical procedures with respect to complication (P = .223), reoperation (P = .999), and readmission rates (P = .568) did not reach statistical significance. Conclusions: The mean standardized costs for the treatment of 3 common IRCT procedures inclusive of 60-day workup and 90-day postoperative recovery were $16,915, $17,210, and $20,837 for LTTT, RSA (average added cost $295), and SCR (average added cost $3922), respectively. This information may provide surgeons and institutions with cost-related information that will become increasingly relevant with the expansion of value-based surgical reimbursements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • cost analysis
  • Economic Analysis
  • irreparable rotator cuff tears
  • Level IV
  • lower trapezius transfer
  • massive rotator cuff tear
  • reverse shoulder arthroplasty
  • Superior capsular reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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