Template-directed instrumentation in total knee arthroplasty: cost savings analysis

Orthopedics. 2012 Nov;35(11):e1596-600. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20121023-15.


The use of digital radiography and templating software in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) continues to become more prevalent as the number of procedures performed increases every year. Template-directed instrumentation (TDI) is a novel approach to surgical planning that combines digital templating with limited intraoperative instruments. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the financial implications and radiographic outcomes of using TDI to direct instrumentation during primary TKA. Over a 1-year period, 82 consecutive TKAs using TDI were retrospectively reviewed. Patient demographics and preoperative templated sizes of predicted components were recorded, and OrthoView digital planning software (OrthoView LLC, Jacksonville, Florida was used to determine the 2 most likely tibial and femoral component sizes for each case. This sizing information was used to direct component vendors to prepare 3 lightweight instrument trays based on these sizes. The sizes of implanted components and the number of total trays required were documented. A cost savings analysis was performed to compare TDI and non-TDI surgical expenses for TKA. In 80 (97%) of 82 cases, the prepared sizes determined by TDI using 3 instrument trays were sufficient. Preoperative templating correctly predicted the size of the tibial and femoral component sizes in 90% and 83% of cases, respectively. The average number of trays used with TDI was 3.0 (range, 3-5 trays) compared with 7.5 (range, 6-9 trays) used in 82 preceding non-TDI TKAs. Based on standard fees to sterilize and package implant trays (approximately $26 based on a survey of 10 orthopedic hospitals performing TKA), approximately $9612 was saved by using TDI over the 1-year study period. Overall, digital templating and TDI were a simple and cost-effective approach when performing primary TKA.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Algorithms
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / economics*
  • Cost Savings / economics*
  • Cost Savings / methods*
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Knee Prosthesis / economics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted / economics*
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Treatment Outcome