Fundamentals of Arthroscopic Surgery Training Program Improves Knee Arthroscopy Simulator Performance in Arthroscopic Trainees

Published:February 01, 2018DOI:


      To determine the effectiveness of a nonanatomic simulator in developing basic arthroscopy motor skills transferable to an anatomic model.


      Forty-three arthroscopy novice individuals currently enrolled in medical school were recruited to perform a diagnostic knee arthroscopy using a high-fidelity virtual reality arthroscopic simulator providing haptic feedback after viewing a video of an expert performing an identical procedure. Students were then randomized into an experimental or control group. The experimental group then completed a series of self-guided training modules using the fundamentals of arthroscopy simulator training nonanatomic modules including camera centering, tracking, periscoping, palpation, and collecting stars in a three-dimensional space. Both groups completed another diagnostic knee arthroscopy between 1 and 2 weeks later. Camera path length, time, tibia and femur cartilage damage, as well as a composite score were recorded by the simulator on each attempt.


      The experimental group (n = 22) showed superior performance in composite score (30.09 vs 24, P = .046) and camera path length (71.51 cm vs 109.07 cm, P = .0274) at the time of the second diagnostic knee arthroscope compared with the control group (n = 21). The experimental group also showed significantly greater improvement in composite score between the first and second arthroscopes compared with the control group (14.27 vs 4.95, P < .01). Femoral and tibial cartilage damage were not significantly improved between arthroscopy attempts (−0.86% vs −1.45%, P = .40) and (−1.10 vs −1.27%, P = .83), respectively.


      The virtual reality-based fundamentals of arthroscopy simulator training nonanatomic simulator is beneficial in developing basic motor skills in arthroscopy novice individuals resulting in significantly greater composite performance in an anatomic knee model. Based on the results of this study, it appears that there may be benefit from nonanatomic simulators in general as part of an arthroscopy training program.

      Level of Evidence

      Level II, randomized trial.
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