Motion analysis: a validated method for showing skill levels in arthroscopy.
Howells NR., Brinsden MD., Gill RS., Carr AJ., Rees JL.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to show the validity of a motion analysis system in its ability to differentiate between surgeons and non-surgeons when performing simple arthroscopic tasks. METHODS: We divided 35 subjects into a surgeons group (n = 20) and a non-surgeons group (n = 15). The surgeons group was further subdivided based on the amount of previous arthroscopic experience. Each participant performed 2 separate simulated arthroscopic tasks while being assessed with motion analysis equipment. The time taken, total path length, and number of movements were recorded. RESULTS: A significant difference in performance was identified between surgeons and non-surgeons (P < .0001) and between senior and junior surgeons (P < .05). We identified trends toward decreased time taken and improved economy of movement with increasing arthroscopic experience. CONCLUSIONS: This study shows the validity of a motion analysis system as a means of objective assessment of arthroscopic skills in orthopaedics. The system has been shown to differentiate between non-surgeons, junior surgeons, and senior surgeons in performing simple arthroscopic tasks. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: In the context of concerns regarding reductions in training time, this study validates the use of a simple, affordable, and reliable means of objective assessment of arthroscopic skills and training in such skills. The motion analysis system could subsequently be used as an adjunct to more traditional methods of assessment when planning strategies to teach, learn, and practice arthroscopic skills in the future.