A randomised controlled trial of kinematically and mechanically aligned total knee replacements: TWO-YEAR CLINICAL RESULTS

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We have previously reported the short-term radiological results of a randomised controlled trial comparing kinematically aligned total knee replacement (TKR) and mechanically aligned TKR, along with early pain and function scores. In this study we report the two-year clinical results from this trial. A total of 88 patients (88 knees) were randomly allocated to undergo either kinematically aligned TKR using patient-specific guides, or mechanically aligned TKR using conventional instruments. They were analysed on an intention-to-treat basis. The patients and the clinical evaluator were blinded to the method of alignment.

At a minimum of two years, all outcomes were better for the kinematically aligned group, as determined by the mean Oxford knee score (40 (15 to 48)versus33 (13 to 48); p = 0.005), the mean Western Ontario McMaster Universities Arthritis index (WOMAC) (15 (0 to 63)versus26 (0 to 73); p = 0.005), mean combined Knee Society score (160 (93 to 200)versus137 (64 to 200); p= 0.005) and mean flexion of 121° (100 to 150)versus113° (80 to 130) (p = 0.002). The odds ratio of having a pain-free knee at two years with the kinematically aligned technique (Oxford and WOMAC pain scores) was 3.2 (p = 0.020) and 4.9 (p = 0.001), respectively, compared with the mechanically aligned technique. Patients in the kinematically aligned group walked a mean of 50 feet further in hospital prior to discharge compared with the mechanically aligned group (p = 0.044).

In this study, the use of a kinematic alignment technique performed with patient-specific guides provided better pain relief and restored better function and range of movement than the mechanical alignment technique performed with conventional instruments.

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