Utility of Modern Arthroscopic Simulator Training Models

Division of Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Rush University Medical Center, Rush Medical College of Rush University, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.. Electronic address: .
Arthroscopy The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery (Impact Factor: 3.21). 11/2013; 30(1). DOI: 10.1016/j.arthro.2013.09.084
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to review the published literature on modern arthroscopic simulator training models to (1) determine the ability to transfer skills learned on the model to the operating room and (2) determine the learning curve required to translate such skills.
A systematic review of all studies using PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines was performed. Two independent reviewers then analyzed studies deemed appropriate for inclusion. Study data collected included participant demographic characteristics, simulator model, type and number of tasks, method of analysis, and results of training, when available. Given the different methods used in each study, descriptive analysis was performed.
Nineteen studies met the inclusion criteria (9 shoulder, 9 knee, and 1 hip). A total of 465 participants with a mean age of 30 years were evaluated. Twelve studies (63%) compared task performance among participants of different experience levels, with 100% reporting a positive correlation between experience level and simulator performance. Eight studies (42%) evaluated task performance before and after simulator training, with 6 studies showing improvement after training; 1 study noted no difference in performance after 1 hour of training. One study commented on improved operating room performance after simulator training. No studies commented on the number of training sessions needed to translate skills learned on the models to the operating room.
This review suggests that practice on arthroscopic simulators improves performance on arthroscopic simulators. We cannot, however, definitively comment on whether simulator training correlates to an improved skill set in the operating room. Further work is needed to determine the type and number of training sessions needed to translate arthroscopic skills learned on the models to the operating room.
Level IV, systematic review of studies with Level I through IV evidence.

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