Robotic Total Knee Arthroplasty vs Conventional Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Nationwide Database Study

Arthroplast Today. 2020 Nov 7;6(4):1001-1008.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.artd.2020.09.014. eCollection 2020 Dec.


Background: As robot-assisted equipment is continuously being used in orthopaedic surgery, the past few decades have seen an increase in the usage of robotics for total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Thus, the purpose of the present study is to investigate the differences between robotic TKA and nonrobotic TKA on perioperative and postoperative complications and opioid consumption.

Methods: An administrative database was queried from 2010 to Q2 of 2017 for primary TKAs performed via robot-assisted surgery vs non-robot-assisted surgery. Systemic and joint complications and average morphine milligram equivalents were collected and compared with statistical analysis.

Results: Patients in the nonrobotic TKA cohort had higher levels of prosthetic revision at 1-year after discharge (P < .05) and higher levels of manipulation under anesthesia at 90 days and 1-year after discharge (P < .05). Furthermore, those in the nonrobotic TKA cohort had increased occurrences of deep vein thrombosis, altered mental status, pulmonary embolism, anemia, acute renal failure, cerebrovascular event, pneumonia, respiratory failure, and urinary tract infection during the inpatient hospital stay (all P < .05) and at 90 days after discharge (all P < .05). All of these categories remained statistically increased at the 90-days postdischarge date, except pneumonia and stroke. Patients in the nonrobotic TKA cohort had higher levels of average morphine milligram equivalents consumption at all time periods measured (P < .001).

Conclusions: In the present study, the use of robotics for TKA found lower revision rates, lower incidences of manipulation under anesthesia, decreased occurrence of systemic complications, and lower opiate consumption for postoperative pain management. Future studies should look to further examine the long-term outcomes for patients undergoing robot-assisted TKA.

Level of evidence: Level III.

Keywords: Complications; Opioid consumption; Robotics; Total knee arthroplasty.