Background: Surgical simulation has become increasingly relevant to orthopaedic surgery education and could translate to improved operating room proficiency in orthopaedic surgery trainees.
Purpose: To compare the arthroscopic performance of junior orthopaedic surgery residents who received training with a knee and shoulder arthroscopy surgical simulator with those who received didactic training.
Study design: Controlled laboratory study.
Methods: Fourteen junior orthopaedic surgery residents at a single institution were randomized to receive knee and shoulder arthroscopy training with a surgical simulator (n = 8) or didactic lectures with arthroscopy models (n = 6). After their respective training, performance in diagnostic knee and shoulder arthroscopy was assessed using a cadaveric model. Time to completion and assessment of arthroscopic handling using a subjective injury grading index (scale, 1-10) was then used to evaluate performance in final cadaveric testing.
Results: Orthopaedic surgery residents who trained with a surgical simulator outperformed the didactic-trained residents in shoulder arthroscopy by time to completion (-35%; P = .02) and injury grading index (-35%; P = .01). In addition, a trend toward improved performance of knee arthroscopy by the simulator-trained group was found by time to completion (-36%; P = .09) and injury grading index (P = .08).
Conclusion: In this study, junior orthopaedic surgery residents who trained with a surgical simulator demonstrated improved arthroscopic performance in both knee and shoulder arthroscopy. However, future validation of surgical simulator training for orthopaedic surgery residents remains warranted.
Clinical relevance: Surgical skill development with an arthroscopy surgical simulator could translate to improved arthroscopy performance in the operating room.
Keywords: arthroscopy simulator; surgical education; surgical simulator; virtual reality.
© 2015 The Author(s).