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Faster return to sport after robotic-assisted lateral unicompartmental knee arthroplasty: a comparative study



Unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) is frequently performed on active patients with symptomatic osteoarthritis who desire a quick return to sports. The aim of this study was to compare return to sport after lateral UKA performed by robotic-assisted and conventional techniques.

Materials and methods

This retrospective study has assessed 28 lateral UKA (25 patients), 11 performed with robotic-assisted technique and 17 with conventional technique, between 2012 and 2016. The mean age was 65.5 and 59.5 years, with a mean follow-up of 34.4 months (range 15–50) and 39.3 months (range 22–68). Both groups were comparable pre-operatively. Sport habits and the details of the return to sports were assessed using University of California, Los Angeles Scale (UCLA) and direct questioning.


Robotic-assisted surgical technique provided significantly quicker return to sports than conventional technique (4.2 ±1.8 months; range 1–6 vs 10.5 ± 6.7 months; range 3–24; p < 0.01), with a comparable rate of return to sports (100% vs 94%). The practiced sports after lateral UKA were similar to those done preoperatively, with mainly low- and mid-impact sports (hiking, cycling, swimming, and skiing).


Robotic-assisted lateral UKA reduces the time to return to sports at pre-symptomatic levels when compared with conventional surgical technique. The return to sports rate after surgery is high in both groups. A long-term study would provide data on the prothesis wear in this active population.

Level of evidence

Comparative retrospective study, Level III.

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Body mass index


Forgotten Joint Score


International Knee Society Score




Return to sport


Total knee arthroplasty


University of California, Los Angeles


Unicompartmental knee arthroplasty


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Authors and Affiliations



RC: study design, data collection, statistical analysis, literature review and manuscript writing. CB: study design, statistical analysis, literature review and manuscript editing. CB: study design, literature review and manuscript editing. PN and ES: study design and manuscript editing. SL: study design, supervision, literature review and manuscript editing. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to C. Batailler.

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Conflict of interest

CB, RC and CB declare that they have no conflict of interest. PN: consultant for Smith and Nephew, royalties from Tornier-Wright, institutional research support to Tornier-Wright and Amplitude. ES: consultant for Corin. SL: consultant for Smith and Nephew, institutional research support to Corin and Amplitude. No benefits in any form have been received or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.

Ethical approval

All procedures were performed in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee, the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments, or comparable ethical standards. The Advisory Committee on Research Information Processing in the Field of Health (CCTIRS) approved this study in Paris on February 17, 2016 under number 16–140. As per institutional standards, formal patient consent is not required for this type of study.

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Canetti, R., Batailler, C., Bankhead, C. et al. Faster return to sport after robotic-assisted lateral unicompartmental knee arthroplasty: a comparative study. Arch Orthop Trauma Surg 138, 1765–1771 (2018).

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