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Acta Orthop. 2011 Feb;82(1):90-5. doi: 10.3109/17453674.2011.552776. Epub 2011 Feb 1.

Development of simulated arthroscopic skills.

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  • 1Department of Orthopedics, Silkeborg Regional Hospital, Silkeborg, Denmark.



Previous studies have shown that there is a correlation between arthroscopic experience and performance on a virtual-reality (VR) unit. We analyzed the development inexperienced surgeons went through during VR training of shoulder arthroscopy.


14 inexperienced surgeons from Silkeborg Regional Hospital were randomized into an intervention group and a control group. 7 experienced surgeons constituted another control group. All were tested twice on insightMIST-an advanced arthroscopic VR trainer-within a period of 6-15 days. The intervention group also received a 5-hour training program on the VR unit.


The average time for the arthroscopy in the intervention group was reduced from 720 (SD 239) seconds to 223 (SD 114) seconds (p = 0.03 compared to the inexperienced control group). Distance travelled by the camera was reduced from 367 (SD 151) cm to 84 (SD 44) cm in the intervention group (p = 0.02 compared to the inexperienced control group). Depth of collisions was also significantly reduced, whereas distance travelled by the probe and number of collisions were improved in the intervention group, although not statistically significantly.


VR training is a possible way for young and inexperienced surgeons to achieve basic navigation skills necessary to perform arthroscopic surgery. Further studies regarding the transferability of the skills acquired on the VR unit to the operating theater are desirable.

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