Computer-Navigated and Robotic-Assisted Total Knee Arthroplasty: Increasing in Popularity Without Increasing Complications



      Data on the clinical impact of computer navigation (CN) and robotic assistance (RA) in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) are mixed. This study aims to describe modern utilization trends in CN-TKA, RA-TKA, and traditionally-instrumented (TD) TKA and to assess for differences in postoperative complications and opioid consumption by procedure type.


      A national database was queried to identify primary, elective TKA patients from 2015 to 2020. Trends in procedural utilization rates were assessed. Differences in 90-day postoperative complications and inpatient opioid consumption were assessed. Multivariate regression analyses were performed to account for potential confounders.


      Of the 847,496 patients included, 49,317 (5.82%) and 24,460 (2.89%) underwent CN-TKA and RA-TKA, respectively. CN-TKA utilization increased from 5.64% (2015) to 6.41% (2020) and RA-TKA utilization increased from 0.84% (2015) to 5.89% (2020). After adjusting for confounders, CN-TKA was associated with lower periprosthetic joint infection (P = .001), pulmonary embolism (P < .001), and acute respiratory failure (P = .015) risk compared to traditional (TD) TKA. RA-TKA was associated with lower deep vein thrombosis (P < .001), myocardial infarction (P = .013), and pulmonary embolism (P = .001) risk than TD-TKA. Lower postoperative day 1 opioid usage was seen with CN-TKA and RA-TKA than TD-TKA (P < .001). Lower postoperative day 0 opioid consumption was also seen in RA-TKA (P < .001).


      From 2015 to 2020, there was a relative 13.7% and 601.2% increase in CN-TKAs and RA-TKAs, respectively. This trend was associated with reductions in hospitalization duration, postoperative complications, and opioid consumption. These data support the safety of RA-TKA and CN-TKA compared to TD-TKA. Further investigation into the specific indications for these technology-assisted TKAs is warranted.


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