A team of researchers conducted a literature review to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of prosthetic interventions and explore applicability to low- and middle-income settings. They found that there are few prosthetic cost-analyses in the literature, and that additional research is needed to determine the direct and indirect costs associated with prosthetic acquisition, fitting, and maintenance; the costs of amputee rehabilitation; and the long-term economic and quality-of-life benefits.
Their initial search, conducted in 2019, yielded 1,144 articles. Studies were included if they conducted an economic analysis of an upper- or lower-limb prosthetic device, but excluded if the full text was unavailable in English, the study was a systematic review or meta-analysis, or it did not have a prosthetic comparison group. Twelve studies met the final inclusion criteria.
All included studies examined lower-limb amputations comparing advanced technology. No studies were conducted in low- and middle-income settings.
The researchers found that comparable data between studies demonstrated the cost-effectiveness of microprocessor over non-microprocessor-controlled knees for people with transfemoral amputations in high-income settings; equivocal findings about osseointegrated versus socket-suspended prostheses; and increased cost for Ossur’s ICEX and modular socket systems over patellar-bearing socket systems with no functional improvement.
The study, “Cost-Analyses of Prosthetic Devices: A Systematic Review,” was published in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.