complications, costs, joint replacement, outcomes, robotic surgery



  1. Hill, Chelsea MS
  2. El-Bash, Reem MS
  3. Johnson, Leslie DPT, MS, PT
  4. Coustasse, Alberto DrPH, MD, MBA, MPH


Osteoarthritis is a common disease that leads patients to seek total joint replacement (TJR). Component misalignment leads to failure of TJR. Computer navigation enhances the precision of component alignment, but the addition of robotic guidance can boost TJR to a higher level of accuracy. Some 29 English-language peer-reviewed articles from 2002 to 2013 and 1 Web site were reviewed. A conceptual framework was adapted to explain benefits and barriers of adoption of robotic TJR. A total of 10 studies were reviewed with focus on more precise alignment, outcomes, length of stay, and costs. Cost to obtain robotic surgical equipment was found to be about $1 million with maintenance costs approaching $350 000. Robotic techniques compared with conventional orthopedic surgery showed slight variances in favor of robotic procedures. Although hospitals have the potential to reduce costs and improve outcomes with robotic TJR, the expenditure and maintenance have not been proven a clear return on investment. As surgical robotic technology evolves in accuracy and accessibility, joint replacement surgery may benefit from improved precision and decreased health care costs. However, equipment purchase and upkeep costs and surgeon training may impede use to its full potential in orthopedic surgery in the United States.