Benzoyl Peroxide is Cost-Effective for Preventing Infection by Cutibacterium Acnes in Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair

Pearce W. Lane, B. Gage Griswold, Daniel W. Paré, Brandon D. Bushnell, Stephen A. Parada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of benzoyl peroxide (BPO) in decreasing postoperative infections through a mathematical model in the setting of arthroscopic rotator cuff repair (RCR). Methods: A break-even equation compared the costs associated with perioperative BPO use and postoperative infection following an arthroscopic RCR. The postoperative infection rate used for calculations was 0.28%, a value established in current literature. The break-even analysis produced a new infection rate, which defined how much BPO is needed to reduce the known infection rate in order for its prophylactic use to be cost-effective. The institution's business office assessed the minimum itemized costs associated with the standard-of-care treatment of postoperative RCR infection. Sensitivity analysis was conducted to demonstrate how variability in the costs of BPO, in infection rates and in the cost of infection treatment affected the absolute risk reduction (ARR) and number needed to treat (NNT). Results: Financial review yielded a minimum institutional cost of treating a postoperative infection following arthroscopic RCR of $24,991.31. Using the break-even formula to calculate the ARR at which the overhead costs of BPO and the treatment of infection were equal, BPO was economically viable if it decreased infection rate by 0.000734% (NNT = 1,361.92). This value was low because of the order of magnitude of difference between the costs of infection prevention when compared to the costs of treating postoperative infections. Conclusions: This break-even analysis model suggests that the use of preoperative BPO in the setting of arthroscopic RCR is cost-effective for prevention of infection with Cutibacterium acnes, given the high cost of treating the infection versus the low cost of the solution. Clinical Relevance: The economic feasibility of preoperative use of BPO in the setting of arthroscopic RCR could alter the standard of care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1119-e1123
JournalArthroscopy, Sports Medicine, and Rehabilitation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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