Cost-effectiveness of full endoscopic versus open discectomy for sciatica.

TitleCost-effectiveness of full endoscopic versus open discectomy for sciatica.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsGadjradj PShankar, Broulikova HM, van Dongen JM, Rubinstein SM, Depauw PR, Vleggeert C, Seiger A, Peul WC, van Susante JL, van Tulder MW, Harhangi BS
JournalBr J Sports Med
Date Published2022 Feb 20

OBJECTIVE: To assess the costs and cost-effectiveness of percutaneous transforaminal endoscopic discectomy (PTED) compared with open microdiscectomy among patients with sciatica.

METHODS: This economic evaluation was conducted alongside a 12-month multicentre randomised controlled trial with a non-inferiority design, in which patients were randomised to PTED or open microdiscectomy. Patients were aged from 18 to 70 years and had at least 6 weeks of radiating leg pain caused by lumbar disc herniation. Effect measures included leg pain and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), as derived using the EQ-5D-5L. Costs were measured from a societal perspective. Missing data were multiply imputed, bootstrapping was used to estimate statistical uncertainty, and various sensitivity analyses were conducted to determine the robustness.

RESULTS: Of the 613 patients enrolled, 304 were randomised to PTED and 309 to open microdiscectomy. Statistically significant differences in leg pain and QALYs were found in favour of PTED at 12 months follow-up (leg pain: 6.9; 95% CI 1.3 to 12.6; QALYs: 0.040; 95% CI 0.007 to 0.074). Surgery costs were higher for PTED than for open microdiscectomy (ie, €4500/patient vs €4095/patient). All other disaggregate costs as well as total societal costs were lower for PTED than for open microdiscectomy. Cost-effectiveness acceptability curves indicated that the probability of PTED being less costly and more effective (ie, dominant) compared with open microdiscectomy was 99.4% for leg pain and 99.2% for QALYs.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that PTED is more cost-effective from the societal perspective compared with open microdiscectomy for patients with sciatica.


Alternate JournalBr J Sports Med
PubMed ID35185010