Functional outcome and alignment in computer-assisted and conventionally operated total knee replacements A MULTICENTRE PARALLEL-GROUP RANDOMISED CONTROLLED TRIAL

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We performed a randomised controlled trial comparing computer-assisted surgery (CAS) with conventional surgery (CONV) in total knee replacement (TKR). Between 2009 and 2011 a total of 192 patients with a mean age of 68 years (55 to 85) with osteoarthritis or arthritic disease of the knee were recruited from four Norwegian hospitals. At three months followup, functional results were marginally better for the CAS group. Mean differences (MD) in favour of CAS were found for the Knee Society function score (MD: 5.9, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.3 to 11.4, p = 0.039), the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) subscales for ‘pain’ (MD: 7.7, 95% CI 1.7 to 13.6, p = 0.012), ‘sports’ (MD: 13.5, 95% CI 5.6 to 21.4, p = 0.001) and ‘quality of life’ (MD: 7.2, 95% CI 0.1 to 14.3, p = 0.046). At one-year followup, differences favouring CAS were found for KOOS ‘sports’ (MD: 11.0, 95% CI 3.0 to 19.0, p = 0.007) and KOOS ‘symptoms’ (MD: 6.7, 95% CI 0.5 to 13.0, p = 0.035). The use of CAS resulted in fewer outliers in frontal alignment (> 3° malalignment), both for the entire TKR (37.9%vs17.9%, p = 0.042) and for the tibial component separately (28.4%vs6.3%, p = 0.002). Tibial slope was better achieved with CAS (58.9%vs26.3%, p < 0.001). Operation time was 20 minutes longer with CAS. In conclusion, functional results were, statistically, marginally in favour of CAS. Also, CAS was more predictable than CONV for mechanical alignment and positioning of the prosthesis. However, the long-term outcomes must be further investigated.

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