Superior alignment but no difference in clinical outcome after minimally invasive computer-assisted unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (MICA-UKA)

Zhenxiang Zhang, Wei Zhu, Lixian Zhu, Yaqing Du
Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy 2016, 24 (11): 3419-3424

PURPOSE: Variety of clinical trials have been published comparing the alignment of MICA-UKA with MI-UKA. However, to the best of our knowledge, no published study has showed whether radiological alignment by MICA-UKA has influence on the clinical results. The present study was conducted to compare the short-term results of MICA-UKA with MI-UKA. It was hypothesized that better alignment as well as clinical results was achieved by MICA-UKA as compared to MI-UKA.

METHODS: The clinical and radiological results of 87 subjects who underwent primary UKA using either minimally invasive and computer-assisted technique (45 patients Group A) or minimally invasive technique (42 patients, Group B) were reported. Knee Society scores (KSSs), Knee Society functional scores (KSFSs), range of motion (ROM), and radiographic results were assessed and reported preoperatively and at 24-month follow-up. Total blood loss, operative time, and length of skin incision were compared.

RESULTS: The accuracy of the implantations in relation to the coronal mechanical axis in Group A was significantly superior to that of Group B (P = 0.033). The femoral rotational profile revealed the prosthesis in Group A that was implanted with significantly less internal rotation than Group B (P = 0.025). Clinical results, with regard to ROMs and KSSs, as well as KSFSs were equally good in both the groups. The average blood loss in patients of Group A was significantly reduced as compared to patients of Group B. No significant difference was detected in terms of operative time or length of skin incision.

CONCLUSIONS: It is suggested that MICA-UKA improves the implant alignment without increasing clinical results versus MI-UKA. We advocate that computer navigation should be considered when minimally invasive unicompartmental knee arthroplasty is performed.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic study, Level II.

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