Venous Thromboembolism Chemoprophylaxis in Knee Arthroscopy: A Break-Even Analysis of Cost

Brandon J. Martinazzi, Gregory J. Kirchner, F. Jeffrey Lorenz, Vincenzo Bonaddio, Shawn Hines, Raymond Y. Kim, Robert A. Gallo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Symptomatic venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a serious and costly complication after knee arthroscopy. There continues to be debate regarding the use of VTE prophylaxis after knee arthroscopy, and minimal research has explored its cost-effectiveness. Hypothesis: Both aspirin and enoxaparin would be cost-effective in preventing symptomatic VTE. Study Design: Economic and decision analysis; Level of evidence, 3. Methods: The literature was searched and the TriNetX research database was queried to determine a range of initial rates of VTE. An open-access retail database was used to determine the mean retail price for aspirin (325 mg) and enoxaparin (30 mg and 40 mg). Our institutional records were used to determine the cost of treating VTE. A “break-even” analysis was then performed to determine the absolute risk reduction necessary to make these drugs cost-effective. This value was then used to calculate the number of patients who would need to be treated (NNT) to prevent a single VTE while still breaking even on cost. Results: The cost of treating VTE was $9407 (US Dollars). Aspirin (325 mg), enoxaparin (30 mg), and enoxaparin (40 mg) were found to cost $1.86, $188.72, and $99.99, respectively. The low, TriNetX, and high rates of VTE were 0.34%, 0.86%, and 10.9%, respectively. Aspirin was cost-effective at all 3 rates if the initial rate decreased by 0.02% (NNT = 5058). Both formulations of enoxaparin were cost-effective at the high initial rate if they decreased by 2.01% (NNT = 50) and 1.06% (NNT = 94), respectively. However, at the low and TriNetX rates, the 2 doses of enoxaparin were not cost-effective because their final break-even rate exceeded the initial VTE rate. Conclusion: Aspirin and, in some cases, enoxaparin are cost-effective treatments for VTE prophylaxis after knee arthroscopy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3832-3837
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number14
StatePublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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