The hypotheses were that firstly there is few early specific complications due to the use of a robotic-assisted system for unicompartimental knee arthroplasty (UKA), and secondly there are less revisions and complications after robotic-assisted UKA than after conventional UKA.
200 robotic-assisted UKA (175 patients) and 191 conventional UKA (179 patients) were performed between 2013 and 2018 from the same center. Revisions, intraoperative and postoperative complications, functional and radiological results were collected at the most recent follow-up.
At the most recent follow-up (≥ 1 year), revision rates were 4% (n = 8/200) for robotic-assisted UKA and 11% (n = 21/191) for conventional UKA (p = 0.014). Reoperation rates without implant removal were comparable in the robotic and conventional group (7.3% vs 8.6%). Complication rates for stiffness (4.7% vs 4.2%) and infection (1% vs 1.6%) were comparable in both groups. There was no specific complication related to the robotic-assisted system (no soft tissue or bone lesion caused by the use of the robotic-assistance and no complication related to the use of navigation pins). The KSS function scores were higher following robotic-assisted UKA (p = 0.01). Satisfaction rates and contralateral OA were comparable in the two groups.
No complications due to the robotic-assisted system were found in this study. There was no difference in the general complications rate between both groups. Robotic-assisted UKA has a lower revision rate compared to conventional technique UKA at the short-term follow-up.
Level of evidence
This is the first paper comparing revision rate and clinical outcome between UKA performed using the NAVIO robotic system and a conventional technique and searching for specific complication related to the use of the NAVIO robotic system.