Navigation in minimally invasive unicompartmental knee arthroplasty has no advantage in comparison to a conventional minimally invasive implantation
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Minimally invasive implantation of unicompartmental knee prostheses can shorten rehabilitation time and lead to better functional results than conventional implantation. Exact positioning of the implant should be achieved, as this is a factor for the long-term survival of the prosthesis, although malpositioning can result due to the poor intraoperative view when using the minimally invasive approach. Navigation of the unicompartmental prosthesis could lead to a better implant positioning without losing the advantages of a minimally invasive approach.
Materials and methods
The same unicondylar knee prosthesis was implanted in a total of 40 patients, of whom 20 were implanted using navigation (kinematic navigation) and 20 using a conventional technique. The operating time was assessed in both groups. The orientation of the tibial and femoral implants was assessed radiologically postoperatively. We analysed these results according to the optimal positioning range proposed by the manufacturer. Furthermore, we examined the clinical results with the knee society score (KSS).
A good positioning of the prosthesis was observed in both techniques with only 11% of the radiologic measurements out of the proposed optimal range in each group. The operating time was significantly longer in the navigation group (17 min). The KSS did not differ between both groups at a follow-up of 16 resp. 18 months (navigated group: 184 points, conventional group: 178 points).
Navigation did not lead to a better positioning of the prosthesis than the conventional method and the operating time was longer. The clinical results were similar in both groups. The navigation may be a useful help for surgeons performing less unicompartmental knee arthroplasty using a minimally invasive approach.
KeywordsUKA Navigation Prosthesis positioning Knee society score Outcome
Conflict of interest
The authors VJ and PEM were involved in the development of the surgical technique of the Univation and are paid consultant for Aesculap AG (Tuttlingen, Germany). This did, however, not influence the study design, the collection, analysis and interpretation, of data. Aesculap AG was also not involved in the writing of the manuscript and in the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
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