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Robotic Arm-assisted versus Manual (ROAM) total knee arthroplasty: a randomized controlled trial

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The primary aim was to assess whether robotic total knee arthroplasty (rTKA) had a greater early knee-specific outcome when compared to manual TKA (mTKA). Secondary aims were to assess whether rTKA was associated with improved expectation fulfilment, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and patient satisfaction when compared to mTKA.


A randomized controlled trial was undertaken, and patients were randomized to either mTKA or rTKA. The primary objective was functional improvement at six months. Overall, 100 patients were randomized, 50 to each group, of whom 46 rTKA and 41 mTKA patients were available for review at six months following surgery. There were no differences between the two groups.


There was no difference between rTKA and mTKA groups at six months according to the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities osteoarthritis index (WOMAC) functional score (mean difference (MD) 3.8 (95% confidence interval (CI) -5.6 to 13.1); p = 0.425). There was a greater improvement in the WOMAC pain score at two months (MD 9.5 (95% CI 0.6 to 18.3); p = 0.037) in the rTKA group, although by six months no significant difference was observed (MD 6.7 (95% CI -3.6 to 17.1); p = 0.198). The rTKA group were more likely to achieve a minimal important change in their WOMAC pain score when compared to the mTKA group at two months (n = 36 (78.3%) vs n = 24 (58.5%); p = 0.047) and at six months (n = 40 (87.0%) vs n = 29 (68.3%); p = 0.036). There was no difference in satisfaction between the rTKA group (97.8%; n = 45/46) and the mTKA group (87.8%; n = 36/41) at six months (p = 0.096). There were no differences in EuroQol five-dimension questionnaire (EQ-5D) utility gain (p ≥ 0.389) or fulfilment of patient expectation (p ≥ 0.054) between the groups.


There were no statistically significant or clinically meaningful differences in the change in WOMAC function between mTKA and rTKA at six months. rTKA was associated with a higher likelihood of achieving a clinically important change in knee pain at two and six months, but no differences in knee-specific function, patient satisfaction, health-related quality of life, or expectation fulfilment were observed.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2023;105-B(9):961–970.

Correspondence should be sent to Nick D. Clement. E-mail:

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