Objective evaluation of surgical skills is essential for an arthroscopic training system. We asked whether a quantitative assessment of arthroscopic skills using scores, time to completion, instrument tip trajectory data, and force data was valid. We presumed more experienced surgeons would perform better on a simulated arthroscopic procedure than novices, therefore validating the quantitative assessment. Surgical trainees (n = 12), orthopaedic residents (n = 12), and experienced arthroscopic surgeons (n = 6) were tested on a Sawbones ® knee simulator. Subjects performed a joint inspection and probing task and a partial meniscectomy task. The trajectory data were measured using an electromagnetic motion tracking system and the force data were measured using a force sensor. The experienced group performed both tasks with higher scores and more quickly than the less experienced groups. The path length of the probe and the scissors was substantially shorter and the probe velocity was considerably faster in the experienced group. The trainee group applied substantially stronger forces to the joint during the joint inspection and probing task. Our data suggest a performance assessment using an electromagnetic motion tracking system and a force sensor provides an objective means of evaluating surgical skills in an arthroscopic training system.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine