Objective: The purpose of this study is to estimate the total cost and the quality of life years (QALY) gained for computer tomography (CT)-guided sacroiliac joint (SIJ) injections. The cost per QALY gained for the procedure is the primary end-point of this study. Methods: In our 1-year prospective institutional study, we gathered 30 patients undergoing CT-guided SIJ injections for degenerative changes at the SIJ space. Patient-reported outcomes included both the US population-based EQ-5D (EuroQol) index score and the EQ-visual analog scale (VAS). The EQ-5D is based on mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain/discomfort, and anxiety depression. Utility expenditures were based on hospital charges at our institution. Results: All 30 patients had one pre-injection physician visit followed by 43 initial injections (13 bilateral). Each patient underwent one CT scan, and three patients required additional plain films. In the 1 year following the injections, 26 physician visits were documented. Five patients required repeat CT-guided injections. Total 1-year cost for all 30 patients was $34 874.00. Mean decrease in EQ-VAS was 0.60 (P = 0.187). The mean 1-year gain of 0.58 EQ-5D QALY reached statistical significance (P < 0.001). The cost per QALY gained by CT-guided sacroiliac injections was $2004.29. Discussion: In one of the first cost analyses of CT-guided sacroiliac injections, we found that the procedure improves pain and activities of daily living. The cost per QALY gained by CT-guided sacroiliac injections falls well below the threshold cost of 1 QALY, suggesting that the procedure is strongly cost-effective.
- CT guided
- Quality adjusted life years (QALY)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology