Trends and Themes in the Study of Value in Orthopedic Surgery: A Systematic Review Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Background: The study of value in orthopedic surgery aims to maximize health outcomes gained per unit cost through various health economic tools but is fragmented across various subspecialties and geographies. Therefore, it is difficult to ascertain whether this research methodology is being used to its full potential across all orthopedic subspecialties and geographies. Purpose: We sought to assess the distribution of prior health economics literature in orthopedic surgery across subspecialties and geographies. The secondary aim was to identify pertinent methodologic trends that may affect the conclusions drawn. Methods: A systematic review utilizing 3 electronic databases (Medline, Embase, and Web of Science) was performed. Inclusion criteria included prior systematic reviews assessing economic analyses across all orthopedic surgery subspecialities published between 2010 and April 24, 2021. The quality of evidence was assessed using the Assessment of Multiple Systematic Review tool. Data were qualitatively analyzed. Results: In the 44 studies included, arthroplasty (36.4%) and spine (31.8%) were the most represented subspecialties. Almost half of studies originated from the United States (45.5%), followed by the United Kingdom (18.2%). Health economic models were most commonly from the perspective of the health care or hospital system (40.5%), followed by the societal perspective (23.5%), and the payer perspective (14.8%). Conclusions: The study of value in orthopedic surgery is not uniformly leveraged across all subspecialties and geographies. Methodologically, the societal perspective was inadequately represented, despite orthopedic pathologies often incurring significant indirect costs (eg, time off work, rehabilitation expenses).


  • Abdel Khalik, Hassaan
  • Nijjar, Manraj S
  • Soeder, Jack
  • Lameire, Darius L
  • Johal, Herman

publication date

  • January 1, 2023