Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®

, Volume 471, Issue 1, pp 46–55 | Cite as

The John Insall Award: No Benefit of Minimally Invasive TKA on Gait and Strength Outcomes: A Randomized Controlled Trial

  • Julien Wegrzyn
  • Sebastien Parratte
  • Krista Coleman-Wood
  • Kenton R. KaufmanEmail author
  • Mark W. Pagnano
Symposium: Papers Presented at the Annual Meetings of the Knee Society



While some clinical reports suggest minimally invasive surgical (MIS) techniques improve recovery and reduce pain in the first months after TKA, it is unclear whether it improves gait and thigh muscle strength.


We hypothesized TKA performed through a mini-subvastus approach would improve subjective and objective and subjective function compared to a standard medial parapatellar approach 2 months after surgery.


We randomized 40 patients into two groups using either the mini-subvastus approach or standard medial parapatellar approach. Patients were evaluated preoperatively and 2 months after surgery. We assessed subjective functional outcome and quality of life (QOL) using routine questionnaires (SF-12, Knee Society Score [KSS], Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score [KOOS], UCLA activity, patient milestone diary of activities). We determined isometric strength of the thigh muscles and assessed gait with a three-dimensional (3-D) analysis during level walking and stair climbing.


We observed improvements from preoperatively to 2 months postoperatively in functional scores, QOL, and knee kinematic and kinetic gait parameters during level and stair walking. Isometric quadriceps strength increased in both groups, although remaining lower when compared to sound limbs. We found no differences between the groups in KSS, SF-12, KOOS, UCLA activity, patient milestone diary of activities, isometric quadriceps strength, or 3-D gait parameters, except a marginally higher speed of stair ascent in the MIS group.


Our observations suggest an MIS approach does not confer a substantial advantage in early function after TKA.

Level of Evidence

Level I, therapeutic study. See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.


Knee Society Score Femoral Nerve Block Level Walking Stair Ascent Stair Descent 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Mrs. Barbara Iverson for her assistance in manuscript preparation.


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Copyright information

© The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons® 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julien Wegrzyn
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sebastien Parratte
    • 1
    • 2
  • Krista Coleman-Wood
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kenton R. Kaufman
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mark W. Pagnano
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryMayo ClinicRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Biomechanics and Motion Analysis LaboratoryMayo ClinicRochesterUSA

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