Module-Based Arthroscopic Knee Simulator Training Improves Technical Skills in Naive Learners: A Randomized Trial

AuthorBeaudoin A, Larrivée S, McRae S, Leiter J, Stranges G.


To compare the effectiveness, in comparison to a control group (C), of module-based training (MBT) and traditional learning (TL) as a means of acquiring arthroscopic skills on an arthroscopic surgery simulator.


Thirty health sciences students with no previous arthroscopy experience were recruited and randomized into 1 of 3 groups: MBT, TL, or C (1:1:1 ratio). Participants in MBT were required to independently practice on a VirtaMed ArthroS simulator (VirtaMed AG, Zurich, Switzerland) for a minimum of 2 hours per week, whereas TL received one-on-one coaching by a senior orthopaedic resident for 15 minutes per week. The control group received no training. All groups were assessed at baseline and at 4 weeks based on objective measures generated by the surgical simulator (procedure time, camera path length, meniscus cutting score, detailed visualization, safety score and total score), and subjective ratings scales (Objective Assessment of Arthroscopic Skill [OAAS] global assessment form, and Competency-Based Assessment form).


Participants in the MBT group trained on average 113 min/week whereas the TL group trained on average 24 min/week. Three-way repeated-measures analysis of variance showed significant group by time interactions for procedure time (P = .006), camera path length (P = .008), safety score (P = .013), total score (P = .003), OAAS form (P < .001), and Competency-Based Assessment form (P < .001). MBT group was superior to C group for procedure time (P = .02), camera path length (P = .003), total score (P = .004), and OAAS form (P = .021), but there were no significant post-hoc differences between MBT and TL groups, or TL and C groups after Bonferroni correction. Total practice time explained 37.5% of the final simulator total score variance.


Knee arthroscopy simulation training with self-learning modules can improve skills in areas such as procedure time, camera path length, and total score in untrained participants compared with a control group.