DOI: 10.1093/bjs/znad258.050 ISSN:

390 The Validity of Bench Top Simulators for Arthroscopic Surgical Skills Training: Does It Work?

J Fennelly, T Hughes, R Patel, J Baxter
  • Surgery



The traditional model of surgical training has evolved significantly in recent years in response to the reduction in hours worked by junior doctors and the overall shortening in length of training. To compensate for the decreased exposure to surgical procedures, much has been done to develop techniques for skills training outside of the operating theatre. This paper aims to identify the current evidence for the use of bench top arthroscopic simulators and their validity for the purpose of surgical training.


The PUBMED, MEDLINE via PUBMED and EMBASE databases were comprehensively searched for articles that described the investigation of bench top arthroscopic simulators and the methods for providing evidence to support their validity, from inception to April 2022. The search strategy employed the following terms: arthroscop* and valid* and simulat* or bench* or fundamentals. References of articles were searched for further studies.


Twenty studies evaluating the use of bench top arthroscopic simulators and their validity for surgical training purposes were identified.


Evidence has been presented supporting the efficacy of low fidelity, bench top simulators in the training of basic arthroscopic skills, especially for those early in the training process. This includes evidence that such training on a bench top simulator combined with a stack viewing system, can indeed result in improved performance in real-life arthroscopic surgery. Further research to validate such a model in combination with a portable viewing system could facilitate increased access to arthroscopic skills training for surgical trainees and incorporation into the surgical curriculum.

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