Original Article| Volume 38, ISSUE 7, P2166-2174, July 2022

Rotator Cuff Repair with Graft Augmentation Improves Function, Decreases Revisions, and Is Cost-Effective

Published:January 20, 2022DOI:


      The purpose of this study is to evaluate the cost effectiveness of the use of extracellular matrix (ECM) augment at the time of primary rotator cuff repair utilizing a decision tree analysis.


      A decision tree model was created utilizing the existing literature for retear rates with and without dermal graft augmentation. Costs for rotator cuff repair (hospital and surgeon fees) were based on published studies and the cost for graft augmentation was based on institutional data. Utility measures were based upon EQ-5D (European Quality of Life 5 Dimension) scores to assess for improvement in quality adjusted life years (QALY) over a 10-year postoperative period with and without graft augmentation. Cost effectiveness was assessed using the incremental cost effectiveness ratio (ICER), or the incremental cost for per QALY with graft augmentation. Cost effectiveness is based on previous literature whereby an intervention is considered cost effective if the ICER is less than $50,000/QALY.


      On the basis of our decision tree analysis, total cost for rotator cuff tear without augmentation was $12,763, while the cost increased to $16,039 with ECM augmentation. With graft augmentation there was an improvement in 2.29 QALY, while there was an improvement of 2.05 without graft augmentation. The ICER of graft augmentation is $14,000/QALY, well below the cost effectiveness cut-off of $50,000/QALY. Sensitivity analysis showed the maximum cost of the ECM augment to be cost effective is $11,921.


      Graft augmentation does come with a significant upfront cost; however, on the basis of our decision-tree analysis, it may represent a cost-effective procedure. There is evidence to potentially consider more routine use in rotator cuff repairs, while being cost effective.

      Level of Evidence

      Economic: Level IV: computer simulation model (Monte Carlo simulation, Markov model) with inputs derived from Level IV studies.
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