Cost analysis and complication rate comparing open, mini-open, and all arthroscopic rotator cuff repair

Erick M. Marigi, Justin C. Kennon, Ruchita Dholakia, Sue L. Visscher, Bijan J. Borah, Joaquin Sanchez-Sotelo, John W. Sperling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hypothesis/Background: Value-based healthcare delivery models are becoming increasingly common and are driving cost effectiveness initiatives. Rotator cuff repair (RCR) is a commonly performed procedure with some variations on the specific surgical technique. The purpose of this study was to perform a comprehensive analysis of the cost, complications, and readmission rates of 3 categories of RCR techniques (open [oRCR], combined arthroscopically assisted and mini-open [CRCR], and all arthroscopic [ARCR]) at a high-volume institution. Methods: All RCR procedures performed by 2 fellowship-trained shoulder surgeons at a single institution between 2012 and 2017 were retrospectively identified. These consisted of oRCR, CRCR, and ARCR repair techniques. One surgeon performed oRCR and CRCR, and the second surgeon performed ARCR. A cost analysis was designed to include a period of 60 days preoperatively, the index surgical hospitalization, and 90 days postoperatively, including costs of any readmission or reoperation. Results: The cohort consisted of 95 oRCR, 233 CRCR, and 287 ARCR. Median standardized costs were as follows: preoperative evaluation $486.03; index surgical hospitalization oRCR $9,343.10, CRCR $10,057.20, and ARCR $10,330.60; and postoperative care $875.02. Preoperative and postoperative costs did not vary based on the type of RCR performed. However, significant differences were observed among index surgical costs (P =.0008). The highest standardized cost for hospitalization for both the CRCR group and the ARCR group was related to the cost of the operating room and the implants. The 90-day complication, reoperation, and readmission rates were 1.1%, 1.1%, and 2.1% in the open group; 0.8%, 0.8%, and 1.7% in the combination group; 0%, 0%, and 1.7% in the all arthroscopic group, respectively. There were no significant differences among the 3 surgical procedures with respect to complication (P =.26), reoperation (P =.26), and readmission rates (P =.96). Discussion/Conclusions: In this investigation, the median standardized costs for RCR inclusive of 60-day workup and 90-day postoperative care were $10,704.15, $11,418.25, and $11,691.65 for oRCR, CRCR (average added cost $714.10), and ARCR (added cost $987.50), respectively. The group complication, reoperation, and readmission rate were 0.5%, 0.5%, and 1.8% with no significant differences between the varying techniques, respectively. This retrospective cost analysis and complication profile may serve as a useful reference as surgeons consider engaging in bundled payment for RCR. As value based initiatives continue to progress, implant cost may serve as an actionable area for cost reduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-89
Number of pages6
JournalJSES Reviews, Reports, and Techniques
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Bundled payment
  • Complication
  • Cost
  • Economic Analysis
  • Level IV
  • Readmission
  • Rotator cuff

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Reviews and References, Medical


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