Retention of Skills After Simulation-based Training in Orthopaedic Surgery

J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2016 Aug;24(8):505-14. doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-D-15-00440.


Simulation-based surgical skills training has become essential in orthopaedic practice because of concerns about patient safety and an increase in technically challenging procedures. Surgical skills training in specifically designed simulation laboratories allows practice of procedures in a risk-free environment before they are performed in the operating room. The transferability of acquired skills to performance with patients is the most effective measure of the predictive validity of simulation-based training. Retention of the skills transferred to clinical situations is also critical. However, evidence of simulation-based skill retention in the orthopaedic literature is limited, and concerns about sustainability exist. Solutions for skill decay include repeated practice of the tasks learned on simulators and reinforcement of areas that are sensitive to decline. Further research is required to determine the retention rates of surgical skills acquired in simulation-based training as well as the success of proposed solutions for skill decay.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Orthopedics / education*
  • Orthopedics / standards