Robotic-assisted total knee replacements appear to be more expensive and time-consuming than those performed without robots, according to a study published Dec. 21 in The Journal of Arthroplasty.
The study found that manual procedures averaged eight minutes quicker and about $3,000 cheaper than the same procedure performed with robotic assistance. Patients receiving robotic total knees used home healthcare more frequently than those who had the manual procedure, though 30-day readmissions occurred slightly more often after the manual procedure.
Median length of stay was 33 hours for each procedure.
Researchers said more studies are needed to determine if robotic procedures' higher cost is offset by lower revision rates or improved functional results.
Researchers reviewed all manual and robotic total knee arthroplasties — 2,392 of each — performed by six high-volume surgeons between Jan. 1, 2017, and Dec. 31, 2019.