I've been reading about hip replacements, some use cement and some don't. Then I read about cement that had antibiotics in it, but not all doctors use it. Why is that? I'd think that the antibiotics would save money in the long run.
There are several types of total hip replacements, or arthroplasties, and yes, some require cement and others don't. Doctors have been experimenting with antibiotic-impregnated cements in the hope that they would cut down on the infection rate of the hip replacements.
As with everything, we have to take cost into account when doing surgical procedures. So, not only is the cement being studied for effectiveness, it's being studied for cost effectiveness. One recent study didn't find that the cost of the cement justified its use as there were no substantial savings, considering the cement's high price. In fact, there was a savings of only about 200 dollars, compared with a procedure that is, on average, equal to about 35,000 US dollars (2002).
Justin S. Cummins, MD, MS, et al. Cost-Effectiveness of Antibiotic-Impregnated Bone Cement Used in Primary Total Hip Arthroplasty. The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. March 2009. Vol. 91. No. 3. Pp. 633 to 641.
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