The purpose of this multicenter, retrospective, observational study was to investigate the association between intraoperative component positioning and soft tissue balancing, as reported by robotic technology for a cohort of patients who received robotic arm-assisted lateral unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) as well as short-term clinical follow-up of these patients. Between 2013 and 2016, 78 patients (79 knees) underwent robotic arm-assisted lateral UKAs at two centers. Pre- and postoperatively, patients were administered the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Score (KOOS) and the Forgotten Joint Score-12 (FJS-12). Clinical results were dichotomized based upon KOOS and FJS-12 scores into either excellent or fair outcome, considering excellent KOOS and FJS-12 to be greater than or equal to 90. Intraoperative, postimplantation robotic data relative to computed tomography-based components placement were collected and classified. Following exclusions and loss to follow-up, a total of 74 subjects (75 knees) who received robotic arm-assisted lateral UKAs were taken into account with an average follow-up of 36.3 months (range: 25.0-54.2 months) postoperative. Of these, 66 patients (67 knees) were included in the clinical outcome analysis. All postoperative clinical scores showed significant improvement compared with the preoperative evaluation. No association was reported between three-dimensional component positioning and soft tissue balancing throughout knee range of motion with overall KOOS, KOOS subscales, and FJS-12 scores. Lateral UKA three-dimensional placement does not seem to affect short-term clinical performance. However, precise boundaries for lateral UKA positioning and balancing should be taken into account. Robotic assistance allows surgeons to acquire real-time information regarding implant alignment and soft tissue balancing.
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