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Balling, Horst; Holzapfel, Boris M.; Böcker, Wolfgang; Arnholdt, Jörg (2022): Resource Consumption and Remuneration Aspects in Navigated Screw Fixation Procedures with or without Additional Sacroplasty for Fragility Fractures of the Sacrum - A Prospective Clinical Study. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 11 (20). ISSN 2077-0383

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Surgical treatment for sacral fragility fractures using navigation-assisted screw fixation (NSF) is a modern, technically demanding procedure. Additional sacroplasty (ASP) has been shown to provide only insignificant clinical benefits for patients. This investigation highlights procedural economic aspects and evaluates results with regard to resource scarcity in order to be able to decide, whether ASP has a justification in NSF procedures beyond clinical aspects. From February 2011 to May 2017, all individuals with sacral fragility fractures surgically treated using 3D-fluoroscopy for NSF (n = 26) or NSF + ASP (n = 26) were enrolled. Outcome parameters were operative time, 3D-/2D-radiation dose, 2D-fluoroscopy time, material costs and reimbursement. In the two groups, a total of 52 individuals with 124 fragility fracture sites in sacral vertebrae I and II were surgically treated with similar numbers of screws inserted (p ≈ 0.679) requiring similar 3D- (p ≈ 0.546) and 2D-fluoroscopy radiation doses (p ≈ 0.236). In procedures with ASP, average 2D-fluoroscopy time (46.6 s vs. 32.7 s, p ≈ 0.004), and mean surgical duration (119 min vs. 96 min, p ≈ 0.011) were significantly longer. Mean implant costs (EUR 668.68 vs. EUR 204.34, p < 0.001), and reimbursement (EUR 8416.01 vs. EUR 6584.49, p ≈ 0.006) were significantly higher. Although comparison of costs and reimbursements indicated a positive financial balance, profitability was not confirmed, because financial expense for extended operative time prevented an economic advantage of procedures with ASP in this investigation. A formula was developed based on presented study data to allow similar economical decisions in other health care systems or institutions with differing resource costs.

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