Efficacy of standardized training for arthroscopic motor skills

Virtual Reality Simulator training for Advance Knee and Shoulder Arthroscopic Motor Skills

AuthorRahm S, Wieser K, Bauer DE, Waibel FW, Meyer DC, Gerber C, Fucentese SF.


Most studies demonstrated, that training on a virtual reality based arthroscopy simulator leads to an improvement of technical skills in orthopaedic surgery. However, how long and what kind of training is optimal for young residents is unknown. In this study we tested the efficacy of a standardized, competency based training protocol on a validated virtual reality based knee- and shoulder arthroscopy simulator.


Twenty residents and five experts in arthroscopy were included. All participants performed a test including knee -and shoulder arthroscopy tasks on a virtual reality knee- and shoulder arthroscopy simulator. The residents had to complete a competency based training program. Thereafter, the previously completed test was retaken. We evaluated the metric data of the simulator using a z-score and the Arthroscopic Surgery Skill Evaluation Tool (ASSET) to assess training effects in residents and performance levels in experts.


The residents significantly improved from pre- to post training in the overall z-score: − 9.82 (range, − 20.35 to − 1.64) to − 2.61 (range, − 6.25 to 1.5); p < 0.001. The overall ASSET score improved from 55 (27 to 84) percent to 75 (48 to 92) percent; p < 0.001. The experts, however, achieved a significantly higher z-score in the shoulder tasks (p < 0.001 and a statistically insignificantly higher z-score in the knee tasks with a p = 0.921. The experts mean overall ASSET score (knee and shoulder) was significantly higher in the therapeutic tasks (p < 0.001) compared to the residents post training result.


The use of a competency based simulator training with this specific device for 3-5 h is an effective tool to advance basic arthroscopic skills of resident in training from 0 to 5 years based on simulator measures and simulator based ASSET testing. Therefore, we conclude that this sort of training method appears useful to learn the handling of the camera, basic anatomy and the triangulation with instruments.