Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®

, Volume 471, Issue 12, pp 3988–3995 | Cite as

Is TKA Using Patient-specific Instruments Comparable to Conventional TKA? A Randomized Controlled Study of One System

  • Yoon Whan Roh
  • Tae Woo Kim
  • Sahnghoon Lee
  • Sang Cheol Seong
  • Myung Chul Lee
Clinical Research



Patient-specific CT-based instrumentation may reduce implant malpositioning and improve alignment in TKA. However, it is not known whether this innovation is an advance that benefits patients.


We evaluated (1) the precision of patient-specific TKA by comparing the incidence of outliers in postoperative alignment between TKAs using patient-specific instruments and TKAs using conventional instruments, and (2) the reliability of patient-specific instruments by intraoperatively investigating whether the surgery could be completed with patient-specific instruments alone.


In this randomized controlled trial, we compared patient-specific TKA instruments from one manufacturer (n = 50) with conventional TKA instruments (n = 50). Postoperative hip-knee-ankle angles, femoral component rotation, and coronal and sagittal alignments of each component were measured. The validity of the patient-specific instrument was examined using cross-checking procedures with conventional instruments during the surgeries. When the procedure could not be completed accurately with patient-specific instruments, the procedure was converted to TKA using conventional instruments, and the frequency of this occurrence was tallied.


Outliers in the hip-knee-ankle angle were comparable between groups (12% in the patient-specific instrument group and 10% in the conventional instrument group). Other parameters such as sagittal alignment and femoral component rotation did not differ in terms of outliers. Patient-specific guides were abandoned in eight knees (16%) during the surgery because of malrotation of the femoral components and decreased slope of the tibia.


Accuracy was comparable between TKAs done with patient-specific instruments and those done with conventional instruments. However, the patient-specific instrument procedures had to be aborted frequently, incurring expenses that did not benefit patients.

Level of Evidence

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


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Copyright information

© The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons® 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoon Whan Roh
    • 1
  • Tae Woo Kim
    • 2
  • Sahnghoon Lee
    • 2
  • Sang Cheol Seong
    • 2
  • Myung Chul Lee
    • 2
  1. 1.Joint Reconstruction CenterSeoul NOW HospitalKyungki-DoKorea
  2. 2.Department of Orthopedic SurgerySeoul National University HospitalSeoulKorea

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