Robotic-assisted total knee arthroplasty may lead to improvement in quality-of-life measures: a 2-year follow-up of a prospective randomized trialLiow, M.H.L., Goh, G.SH., Wong, M.K. et al.
Despite reduction in radiological outliers in previous randomized trials comparing robotic-assisted versus conventional total knee arthroplasty (TKA), no differences in short-term functional outcomes were observed. The aim of this study was to determine whether there was improvement in functional outcomes and quality-of-life (QoL) measures between robotic-assisted and conventional TKA.
All 60 knees (31 robotic-assisted; 29 conventional) from a previous randomized trial were available for analysis. Differences in range of motion, Knee Society (KSS) knee and function scores, Oxford Knee scores (OKS), SF-36 subscale and summative (physical PCS/mental component scores MCS) were analysed. In addition, patient satisfaction, fulfilment of expectations and the proportion attaining a minimum clinically important difference (MCID) in KSS, OKS and SF-36 were studied.
Both robotic-assisted and conventional TKA displayed significant improvements in majority of the functional outcome scores at 2 years. Despite having a higher rate of complications, the robotic-assisted group displayed a trend towards higher scores in SF-36 QoL measures, with significant differences in SF-36 vitality (p = 0.03), role emotional (p = 0.02) and a larger proportion of patients achieving SF-36 vitality MCID (48.4 vs 13.8 %, p = 0.009). No significant differences in KSS, OKS or satisfaction/expectation rates were noted.
Subtle improvements in patient QoL measures were observed in robotic-assisted TKA when compared to conventional TKA. This finding suggests that QoL measures may be more sensitive and clinically important than surgeon-driven objective scores in detecting subtle functional improvements in robotic-assisted TKA patients.
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