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The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 106-B, Issue 1 | Pages 38 - 45
1 Jan 2024
Leal J Mirza B Davies L Fletcher H Stokes J Cook JA Price A Beard DJ


The aim of this study was to estimate the incremental use of resources, costs, and quality of life outcomes associated with surgical reconstruction compared to rehabilitation for long-standing anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in the NHS, and to estimate its cost-effectiveness.


A total of 316 patients were recruited and randomly assigned to either surgical reconstruction or rehabilitation (physiotherapy but with subsequent reconstruction permitted if instability persisted after treatment). Healthcare resource use and health-related quality of life data (EuroQol five-dimension five-level health questionnaire) were collected in the trial at six, 12, and 18 months using self-reported questionnaires and medical records. Using intention-to-treat analysis, differences in costs, and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) between treatment arms were estimated adjusting for baseline differences and following multiple imputation of missing data. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was estimated as the difference in costs divided by the difference in QALYs between reconstruction and rehabilitation.