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The Knee Society (TKS) 2018 Members Meeting, Saint Louis, MO, USA, September 2018.



Robotic technology has been applied to unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) in order to improve surgical precision in prosthetic component placement, restore knee anatomic surfaces, and provide a more physiologic ligament tensioning throughout the knee range of motion. Recent literature has demonstrated the reliability of robotic assisted UKA over manual UKA in component placement and executing a soft-tissue tensioning plan. The purpose of this multicenter study was to determine the correlation between 3D component positioning and soft-tissue tensioning with short-term clinical results following robotic assisted medial UKA.


Between 2013 and 2016, 349 patients (381 knees) underwent robotic assisted fixed bearing metal backed medial UKAs at two centres. Follow-up was performed at 12 months minimum. Pre- and post-operatively, patients were administered Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Score (KOOS), Forgotten Joint Score 12 (FJS), and Short-Form summary scale (SF-12) surveys. Clinical results for every score were stratified as ‘excellent’, ‘mild’ and ‘insufficient’. Post-operative complications were recorded. Failure mechanisms, reoperations and post-operative knee pain were also assessed. Intra-operative robotic data relative to femoral and tibial component placement in the coronal, sagittal and horizontal plane, as well as femoro-tibial gaps at different knee flexion angles were also collected.


A total of 338 robotic assisted medial UKAs (309 patients) were assessed at an average follow-up of 33.5 months post-operatively (89% follow-up rate). Three implants were revised, resulting in a survivorship of 99.0% (C.I. 97.0%–99.7%), one for prosthetic joint infection and two for tibial aseptic loosening. All clinical post-operative scores were significantly improved from the pre-operative scores. The following statistically significant correlations were found between intra-operative robotic data and outcomes considered individually: femoral component coronal alignment influenced KOOS Symptoms, Pain and Quality of Life (p<0.05), sagittal alignment influenced KOOS Symptoms and Pain (p<0.05), and femoro-tibial gaps at 20°–30° knee flexion influenced KOOS Pain and Function in Activities of Daily Living (p<0.05). Both, tibial sagittal alignment and femoro-tibial gaps at 80°–90° knee flexion were found to correlate with SF-12 Physical Status and presence of post-operative pain (p<0.01).

‘Excellent’ clinical outcomes were reported by those patients who, on average, had the femur placed in neutral alignment in the coronal and horizontal planes (0.2°±1.5 and 0.6°±1.4 respectively) as well as avoided excessive flexion in the sagittal plane (3.7°±3.2). When considering the tibia, better results were reported by patients with the tibial component placed in slight external rotation (2.2°±1.7), varus coronal alignment (1.5°±1.7) and no more than 5° of posterior slope (5.0°±1.0). Regarding femoro-tibial gaps, ‘excellent’ clinical outcomes were reported by patients who were slightly loose between 20°–30° and 80°–90° of knee flexion.


In the present study, survivorship and clinical outcomes of a large cohort of 309 patients with medial robotic assisted UKA were contacted with at a mean 3-years. The overall survivorship was found to be 99%, with tibial component failure as the most common reason for UKA revision. The significant difference between pre- and post-operative clinical scores highlights the efficacy of robotic assisted UKA in restoring knee function and relieving pain. Differences in components’ positioning and soft-tissue tensioning demonstrated significant correlation with post-operative clinical outcomes.