Cost effectiveness of treatment with percutaneous Kirschner wires versus volar locking plate for adult patients with a dorsally displaced fracture of the distal radius: analysis from the DRAFFT trial.
Tubeuf S., Yu G., Achten J., Parsons NR., Rangan A., Lamb SE., Costa ML.
We present an economic evaluation using data from the Distal Radius Acute Fracture Fixation Trial (DRAFFT) to compare the relative cost effectiveness of percutaneous Kirschner wire (K-wire) fixation and volar locking-plate fixation for patients with dorsally-displaced fractures of the distal radius. The cost effectiveness analysis (cost per quality-adjusted life year; QALY) was derived from a multi-centre, two-arm, parallel group, assessor-blind, randomised controlled trial which took place in 18 trauma centres in the United Kingdom. Data from 460 patients were available for analysis, which includes both a National Health Service cost perspective including costs of surgery, implants and healthcare resource use over a 12-month period after surgery, and a societal perspective, which includes the cost of time off work and the need for additional private care. There was only a small difference in QALYs gained for patients treated with locking-plate fixation over those treated with K-wires. At a mean additional cost of £714 (95% confidence interval 588 to 865) per patient, locking-plate fixation presented an incremental cost effectiveness ratio (ICER) of £89,322 per QALY within the first 12 months of treatment. Sensitivity analyses were undertaken to assess the ICER of locking-plate fixation compared with K-wires. These were greater than £30,000. Compared with locking-plate fixation, K-wire fixation is a 'cost saving' intervention, with similar health benefits.