A comparative analysis of a disposable and a reusable pedicle screw instrument kit for lumbar arthrodesis: integrating HTA and MCDA

Claudia Ottardi, Alessio Damonti, Emanuele Porazzi, Emanuela Foglia, Lucrezia Ferrario, Tomaso Villa, Enrico Aimar, Marco Brayda-Bruno, Fabio Galbusera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Lumbar arthrodesis is a common surgical technique that consists of the fixation of one or more motion segments with pedicle screws and rods. However, spinal surgery using these techniques is expensive and has a significant impact on the budgets of hospitals and Healthcare Systems. While reusable and disposable instruments for laparoscopic interventions have been studied in literature, no specific information exists regarding instrument kits for lumbar arthrodesis. The aim of the present study was to perform a complete health technology assessment comparing a disposable instrument kit for lumbar arthrodesis (innovative device) with the standard reusable instrument. Methods: A prospective and observational study was implemented, by means of investigation of administrative records of patients undergoing a lumbar arthrodesis surgical procedure. The evaluation was conducted in 2013, over a 12- month time horizon, considering all the procedures carried out using the two technologies. A complete health technology assessment and a multi-criteria decision analysis approach were implemented in order to compare the two alternative technologies. Economic impact (with the implementation of an activity based costing approach), social, ethical, organisational, and technology-related aspects were taken into account. Results: Although the cost analysis produced similar results in the comparison of the two technologies (total cost equal to € 4,279.1 and € 4,242.6 for reusable instrument kit and the disposable one respectively), a significant difference between the two instrument kits was noted, in particular concerning the organisational impact and the patient safety. Conclusions: The replacement of a reusable instrument kit for lumbar arthrodesis, with a disposable one, could improve the management of this kind of devices in hospital settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17
JournalHealth Economics Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 3 2017


  • Disposable instrument
  • Health technology assessment
  • Italy
  • Lumbar arthrodesis
  • Multi-criteria decision analysis
  • Reusable instrument

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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