Cement Waste During Primary Total Knee Arthroplasty and its Effect on Cost Savings: An Institutional Analysis Academic Article uri icon

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  • Purpose Healthcare costs are increasingly garnering more media attention and there is increasing focus on improving efficiencies in daily practice. Orthopedic surgery is also subject to these fiscal pressures, particularly in arthroplasty surgeries, secondary to high volumes with costly equipment. Total knee arthroplasties (TKA) are one of the most common surgical procedures, with over 64,000 annual cases in Canada. Even marginal cost reductions per procedure can be compounded over the large volume to result in considerable savings. This study's purpose is to investigate and quantify the cost of wasted intraoperative cement used in primary TKA. Methods Residual amounts of wasted bone cement were collected and measured following uncomplicated primary TKAs performed by the senior authors in a high-volume arthroplasty centre between January and June 2017. Stryker Simplex® with Tobramycin Bone Cement was the specific institutional cement used. Results One hundred and two primary total knee arthroplasties were investigated. The results revealed that an average 91.2 g of surgical cement was wasted per case, with less than 30 g retained in the bone-implant interface (26.8 g). Institutional costs per package of cement is $120.62, amounting to $2.04 per gram of cement. This represents a value of $186.25 CAD per case. Conclusion On average, each primary TKA procedure wastes 91.2 g of bone cement per case. The value of this wasted cement is $186.25 CAD per TKA. When extrapolated to the most recent recorded numbers of TKAs done in Canada, that figure nears $12 million. The results of this study are important, as they reveal a potential source to target for both waste reduction and cost control.


  • Yan, James R
  • Oreskovich, Stephan
  • Oduwole, Kayode
  • Horner, Nolan
  • Khanna, Vickas
  • Adili, Anthony

publication date

  • November 26, 2018

published in