Purpose of review: As immersive learning outside of the operating room is increasingly recognized as a valuable method of surgical training, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are increasingly utilized in orthopedic surgical training. This article reviews the evolving nature of these training tools and provides examples of their use and efficacy. The practical and ethical implications of incorporating this technology and its impact on both orthopedic surgeons and their patients are also discussed.
Recent findings: Head-mounted displays (HMDs) represent a possible adjunct to surgical accuracy and education. While the hardware is advanced, there is still much work to be done in developing software that allows for seamless, reliable, useful integration into clinical practice and training. Surgical training is changing: AR and VR will become mainstays of future training efforts. More evidence is needed to determine which training technology translates to improved clinical performance. Volatility within the HMD industry will likely delay advances in surgical training.
Keywords: Augmented reality; Medical education; Orthopedic surgery; Surgical simulation; Virtual reality.