Robot-Assisted Partial Knee Replacement Versus Standard Total Knee Replacement (RoboKnees)

  • End date
    Dec 24, 2024
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    McMaster University
Updated on 24 July 2022
total knee replacement
partial knee replacement
joint reconstruction


This is a pilot randomized trial to assess the feasibility of a definitive trial to determine the effect of robot-assisted partial knee replacements versus standard total knee replacements.


Knee osteoarthritis (OA) pain is an important source of morbidity and cost to the health care system. Over 60,000 knee replacement surgeries are performed in Canada every year, making it the second most common surgery. Our institution (St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton) is the first hospital in Canada to purchase a Mako RIO orthopaedic robot to assist with performing knee replacements. The knee is divided into three compartments, and one, two, or all three compartments can become arthritic. Over 90% of patients with end-stage knee OA receive a total knee replacement (also known as total knee arthroplasty or TKA) even if they have one or two healthy knee compartments. Partial knee replacements are an option for these patients but these procedures are very technically demanding and associated with a higher risk of implant failure. For this reason, few surgeons are experts at partial knee replacements. We believe that we can use robotic technology to make it easier for surgeons to perform partial replacements more accurately, thereby increasing the quality and survivorship of partial knee replacements. This may lead to better patient-important outcomes like return to activity, pain, and satisfaction, and eventually better access to high-quality partial knee replacements for Canadians. This will be the first study to evaluate total knee replacements (standard care) versus robot-assisted partial knee replacements, and could lead to greater uptake of robotic technology in orthopaedics and a shift toward anatomy-sparing partial knee replacements.

Condition Knee Osteoarthritis
Treatment Total Knee Arthroplasty, Robot-assisted partial knee arthroplasty
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04378049
SponsorMcMaster University
Last Modified on24 July 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Adult (18+)
Unicompartmental knee OA with or without concomitant patellofemoral OA, requiring surgical treatment
Two study surgeons independently agree that the patient is eligible for either treatment group

Exclusion Criteria

Inability to provide informed consent (e.g. cognitive disability, language barrier)
Revision knee surgery
Simultaneous bilateral knee surgery
Previous major knee surgery or trauma
The robot or required components are unavailable (e.g. technical difficulties, robot-specific disposables out of stock)
A CT scan cannot be obtained prior to surgery
Patient does not wish to participate
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