This pilot double blind randomised controlled study aimed to investigate whether the midvastus (MV) approach without patellar eversion in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) resulted in improved recovery of function compared to the medial parapatellar (MP) approach. Patients were randomly allocated to either the MV approach or the MP approach. Achievements of inpatient mobility milestones were recorded. Knee kinematics, muscle strength, Timed Up and Go, WOMAC, and daily step count were assessed before and up to six months after surgery. Cohen's effect size d was calculated to inform the sample size in future trials. Twenty-eight participants (16 males, 12 females) participated. Patient mobility milestones such as straight leg raise were achieved on average 1.3 days (95% CI -3.4 to 0.7, d = 0.63) earlier in the MV group. Knee extensor strength at 6 weeks after surgery was higher (95% CI -0.38 to 0.61, d = 0.73) in the MV group. No trends for differences between the groups were observed in knee kinematics, TUG, WOMAC, or step count. Our results suggest a short term advantage in the first 6 weeks after surgery of the MV approach over the MP approach, but a larger study is required to confirm these findings. This trial is registered with NCT056445.