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Socioeconomic value of orthopedic devices: evidence and methodological challenges

Authors: C. Sorenson, M. Drummond
Publication : Orthopedic Research and Reviews, October 2012, Volume 2012:4 Pages 87 - 96


With continued technological advances in orthopedic devices and increasingly limited health care resources, greater attention will be placed on substantiating the socioeconomic value of these devices.

Therefore, this study focused on a systematic review of available economic evaluations of selected orthopedic devices (n = 33 studies) to assess their impact on different clinical and economic outcomes. The existing evidence suggests that they have important benefits to patients, including reduced risk of fractures, increased mobility and functioning, and enhanced quality of life, and do so cost effectively or with cost savings.

However, we have identified several methodological obstacles to sufficient ascertainment of value, such as a lack of robust information on health economic outcomes and long-term evidence. We also identify areas where additional research is needed to assess more fully the value of orthopedic devices.

Affiliations and acknowledgements

LSE Health, London School of Economics, London, UK

European Health Technology Institute for Socioeconomic Research, Brussels, Belgium;

Centre for Health Economics, University of York, York, UK


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