Computer and robotic – assisted total knee arthroplasty: a review of outcomes

Background: Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is a successful treatment for tricompartmental knee arthritis. Computer navigation and robotic-assisted-surgery (RAS) have emerged as tools that aim to help plan and execute surgery with greater precision and consistency. We reviewed the most current literature to describe the historical background and outcomes compared to conventional TKA.

Methods: A review and synthesis of the literature comparing the patient reported outcomes (PROM’s) of RA TKA and computer-assisted (CA) TKA to conventional TKA was performed using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines.

Results: CAS TKA improves accuracy and consistency of implant position, and appears to provide a small improvement in PROMs and implant survival compared to conventional TKA. RTKA similarly improves implant accuracy compared to conventional techniques and early results suggest a similar small benefit in PROMs compared to conventional TKA. A strengthening trend is emerging showing CAS TKA has greatest benefit to implant survival in people under 65. RTKA survival analysis data is more limited and early results do not allow strong conclusions, however early trends are similar to CAS TKA.

Conclusion: Results for CAS-TKA show improvement in alignment, and early clinical outcomes have revealed promising results, with longer-term data and medium-term survival analysis recently emerging showing small benefits over conventional TKA. RTKA represents another phase of development. Early results show similar trends to that of CAS TKA with longer-term data still to come.