The Role of Arthroscopic Simulation in Teaching Surgical Skills: A Systematic Review of the Literature

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Following the introduction of worktime regulations across the world along with existing concerns over the nonuniform nature of the traditional apprenticeship model, an alternative method for teaching surgical skills is being sought. Simulation training offers a safe and standardized environment to develop and improve surgical skills. The purpose of the present study was to review the existing and most recent research into the utility of arthroscopic simulators in training and the teaching of surgical skills.


A systematic review of the MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases for English-language articles published between 2014 and November 2017 was conducted. Search terms included arthroscopy or arthroscopic with simulation or simulator.


We identified a total of 27 relevant studies involving simulated ankle, knee, shoulder, hip, and simple box arthroscopic environments. The majority of these studies demonstrated construct validity, while a few demonstrated transfer, face, and content validity.


Our review suggests that there is a considerable evidence base regarding the use of arthroscopic simulators for training purposes. Further work should focus on the development of a standardized simulator training course that can be contrasted against current intraoperative training in large-scale multicenter trials with long-term follow-up.

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