Background: The purpose of this study was to perform a cost-utility analysis to compare revision amputation and replantation treatment of finger amputation injuries across a spectrum of injury scenarios.
Methods: The study was conducted from the societal perspective. Decision tree models were created for the reference case (two-finger amputation injury) and seven additional injury scenarios for comparison. Inputs included cost, quality of life, and probability of each health state. A Web-based time trade-off survey was created to determine quality-adjusted life-years for health states; 685 nationally representative adult community members were invited to participate in the survey. Overall cost and quality-adjusted life-years for revision amputation and replantation were calculated for each decision tree. An incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was calculated if a treatment was more costly but more effective.
Results: The authors had a 64 percent response rate (n = 437). Replantation treatment had greater costs and quality-adjusted life-years compared with revision amputation in all injury scenarios. Replantation of single-digit injuries had the highest incremental cost-effectiveness ratio ($136,400 per quality-adjusted life-year gained). Replantation of three- and four-digit amputation injuries had relatively low cost-to-benefit ratios ($27,100 and $23,800 per quality-adjusted life-year, respectively). Replantation for distal thumb amputation had a relatively low incremental cost-effectiveness ratio ($26,300 per quality-adjusted life-year) compared with replantation of nonthumb distal amputations ($60,200 per quality-adjusted life-year).
Conclusions: The relative cost per quality-adjusted life-year gained with replantation treatment varied greatly among the injury scenarios. Situations in which indications for replantation are debated had higher cost per quality-adjusted life-year gained. This study highlights variability in value for replantation among different injury scenarios.