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Background: The use of new total joint arthroplasty technologies, including patient-specific implants/instrumentation (PSI), computer-assisted (CA), and robotic-assisted (RA) techniques, is increasing. There is an ongoing debate regarding the value provided and potential concerns about conflicts of interest (COI).

Methods: PRISMA guidelines were followed. PubMed, MEDLINE, and Web of Science databases were searched for total hip and knee arthroplasties, unicompartmental knee arthroplasties (UKA), PSI, CA, and RA. Bibliometric data, financial COI, clinical/functional scores, and patient-reported outcomes were assessed.

Results: Eighty-seven studies were evaluated, with 35 (40.2%) including at least one author reporting COI, and 13 (14.9%) disclosing industry funding. COI and industry funding had no significant effects on outcomes (P = 0.682, P = 0.447), and there were no significant effects of conflicts or funding on level of evidence (P = 0.508, P = 0.826). Studies in which author(s) disclosed COI had significantly higher relative citation ratio (RCR) and impact factor (IF) than those without (P < 0.001, P = 0.032). Subanalysis demonstrated RA and PSI studies were more likely to report COI or industry funding (P = 0.045). RA (OR = 6.31, 95% CI: 1.61-24.68) and UKA (OR = 9.14, 95% CI: 1.43-58.53) had higher odds of reporting favorable outcomes than PSI.

Conclusions: Author COIs (about 40%) may be lower than previously reported in orthopedic technologies/techniques reviews. Studies utilizing RA and PSI were more likely to report COI, while RA and UKA studies were more likely to report favorable outcomes than PSI. No statistically significant association between the presence of COIs and/or industry funding and the frequency of favorable outcomes or study level of evidence was found.

Level of evidence: Level V Systematic Review.


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