Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2022 Nov 15. doi: 10.1007/s00167-022-07227-5. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: Given the improved accuracy of robot-assisted surgery, robotic-arm assisted functionally aligned total knee arthroplasty (RFA-TKA) aims to preserve the native pre-arthritic knee biomechanics, to achieve balanced flexion-extension gaps. The purpose of this study was to compare the accuracy of the implant position and short-term clinical outcomes of patients who underwent RFA-TKA vs. mechanically aligned total knee arthroplasty with manual technique (MA-TKA).
METHODS: A prospectively collected database was reviewed retrospectively for patients who underwent primary TKA. Sixty patients who underwent RFA-TKA between February 2020 and July 2020 were included in the RFA-TKA group. Sixty patients who underwent MA-TKA were included via 1:1 matching for age, sex, and body mass index based on the RFA-TKA group. For radiological evaluation, knee X-rays were used to assess the functional knee phenotype and implant position accuracy by measuring the coronal and sagittal alignment, and these measurements were compared between the two groups. Patient demographic characteristics and patient-reported outcomes including Knee Society scores, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index, and forgotten joint score-12 were compared between the groups.
RESULTS: Statistically significant differences were observed in postoperative 2-year clinical outcomes in favor of RFA-TKA group which showed greater accuracy in the tibial component sagittal alignment than MA-TKA (1.0 ± 2.3 vs. 0.7 ± 1.6, respectively; P < 0.001). However, outliers in the component positions were more common in the MA-TKA group, which was statistically significant for the femoral coronal and tibial sagittal alignments (P = 0.017 and 0.015, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: Functional alignment in TKA could be accurately obtained with the assistance of a robotic arm, and the results showed greater 2 year postoperative patient-reported outcome and satisfaction than mechanically aligned TKA using manual instruments.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: III.