Robotics Versus Navigation Versus Conventional Total Hip Arthroplasty: Does the Use of Technology Yield Superior Outcomes?

J Arthroplasty. 2021 Aug;36(8):2801-2807. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2021.02.074. Epub 2021 Mar 5.


Background: The use of technology such as navigation and robotic systems may improve the accuracy of component positioning in total hip arthroplasty (THA), but its impact on patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) remains unclear. This study aims to elucidate the association between the use of intraoperative technology and PROMs in patients who underwent primary THA.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed a consecutive series of patients who underwent primary THA between 2016 and 2020 and answered PROM questionnaires. Patients were separated into 3 groups depending on intraoperative technology utilization: computer-assisted navigation, robotic-assisted, or no technology (conventional) THA. Forgotten Joint Score-12 and Hip disability and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score, Joint Replacemen scores were collected at various time points. Demographic differences were assessed with chi-square and analysis of variance. Mean scores between groups were compared using univariate analysis of covariance, controlling for all significant demographic differences.

Results: Of the 1960 cases identified, 896 used navigation, 135 used robotics, and 929 used no technology. There were significant statistical differences in one-year Hip disability and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score, Joint Replacement scores (85.23 vs 85.95 vs 86.76, respectively; P = .014) and two-year Forgotten Joint Score-12 scores (64.72 vs 73.35 vs 74.63, respectively; P = .004) between the 3 groups. However, these differences did not exceed the mean clinically important differences. Length of stay was statistically longest for patients who underwent conventionally performed THA versus navigation and robotics (2.22 vs 1.46 vs 1.91, respectively; P < .001). Surgical time was significantly longer for cases performed using robotics versus navigation and conventionally (119.61 vs 90.35 vs 95.35, respectively; P < .001).

Conclusion: Statistical differences observed between all modalities are not likely to be clinically meaningful with regard to early patient-reported outcomes. Although intraoperative use of technology may improve the accuracy of implant placement, these modalities have not yet translated into improved early reported functional outcomes.

Level iii evidence: Retrospective cohort.

Keywords: navigation; outcomes; patient-reported outcome measures; robotics; technology; total hip arthroplasty.

MeSH terms

  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip*
  • Humans
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Robotics*
  • Treatment Outcome