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Biomed Eng Online. 2013 Jul 4;12:63. doi: 10.1186/1475-925X-12-63.

Experience-based virtual training system for knee arthroscopic inspection.

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  • 1Joint Center, Tzu-Chi Dalin General Hospital, Chia-yi, Taiwan, ROC.



Arthroscopic surgical training is inherently difficult due to limited visibility, reduced motion freedom and non-intuitive hand-eye coordination. Traditional training methods as well as virtual reality approach lack the direct guidance of an experienced physician.


This paper presents an experience-based arthroscopic training simulator that integrates motion tracking with a haptic device to record and reproduce the complex trajectory of an arthroscopic inspection procedure. Optimal arthroscopic operations depend on much practice because the knee joint space is narrow and the anatomic structures are complex. The trajectory of the arthroscope from the experienced surgeon can be captured during the clinical treatment. Then a haptic device is used to guide the trainees in the virtual environment to follow the trajectory.


In this paper, an experiment for the eight subjects' performance of arthroscopic inspection on the same simulator was done with and without the force guidance. The experiment reveals that most subjects' performances are better after they repeated the same inspection five times. Furthermore, most subjects' performances with the force guidance are better than those without the force guidance. In the experiment, the average error with the force guidance is 33.01% lower than that without the force guidance. The operation time with the force guidance is 14.95% less than that without the force guidance.


We develop a novel virtual knee arthroscopic training system with virtual and haptic guidance. Compared to traditional VR training system that only has a single play-script based on a virtual model, the proposed system can track and reproduce real-life arthroscopic procedures and create a useful training database. From our experiment, the force guidance can efficiently shorten the learning curve of novice trainees. Through such system, novice trainees can efficiently develop required surgical skills by the virtual and haptic guidance from an experienced surgeon.

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