Lateral extra-articular tenodesis may be more cost-effective than independent anterolateral ligament reconstruction: A systematic review and economic analysis Journal Articles uri icon

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  • IMPORTANCE: Anterolateral augmentation during primary anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction (ACLR) may lower rates of ACL graft failure. However, differences in costs between two techniques, lateral extra-articular tenodesis (LET) and anterolateral ligament reconstruction (ALLR), are unclear. OBJECTIVE: To perform a systematic review and subsequent cost-effectiveness analysis comparing LET versus ALLR in the setting of primary ACLR. The hypothesis was that LET is more cost-effective than ALLR. EVIDENCE REVIEW: A systematic review was conducted on studies in which patients underwent primary ACLR with a concomitant LET or ALLR with minimum 24 months follow-up published between January 2013 and July 2023. Primary outcomes included ACL graft failure rates and Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Survey-Quality of Life (KOOS-QoL) subscale scores, which were used to determine health utilities measured by quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) gained. A decision tree model with one-way and two-way sensitivity analyses compared the cost of primary ACLR with a concomitant LET, independent autograft ALLR, or independent allograft ALLR. Costs were estimated using a combination of QALYs, institution prices, literature references, and a survey sent to 49 internationally recognized high-volume knee surgeons. FINDINGS: A total of 2505 knees undergoing primary ACLR with concomitant LET (n=1162) or ALLR (n=1343) were identified from 22 studies. There were 77 total ACL graft failures with comparable failure rates between patients receiving LET versus ALLR (2.9% vs. 3.2%, P=0.690). The average QALYs gained was slightly higher for those who received LET (0.77) compared to ALLR (0.75). Survey results revealed a 5 minute longer median self-reported operative time for ALLR (20 ​min) than LET (15 ​min). The estimated costs for LET, autograft ALLR, and allograft ALLR were $1,015, $1,295, and $3,068, respectively. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Anterolateral augmentation during primary ACLR with LET is more cost-effective than independent autograft and allograft ALLR given the lower costs and comparable clinical outcomes. Surgeons may utilize this information when determining the optimal approach to anterolateral augmentation during primary ACLR, although differences in preferred technique and health care systems may influence operative efficiency and material costs. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Systematic review; Level of evidence, IV.


  • Giusto, Joseph D
  • Cohen, Dan
  • Dadoo, Sahil
  • Grandberg, Camila
  • Lott, Ariana
  • Hughes, Jonathan D
  • Ayeni, Olufemi
  • Musahl, Volker

publication date

  • April 2024