Surgical simulators provide a safe environment where novice surgeons can acquire their surgical skills. Although the number of patients with diseases of the musculoskeletal system is growing, the development of orthopedic simulators is still in its infancy. The aim of this work was to identify simulation-based assessment parameters for a novel simulator in minimally invasive spine surgery. Apart from parameters targeting the duration and the surgeons economy of motion during percutaneous bone access, parameters characterizing the movement smoothness were also examined with respect to their suitability. The results indicated, that the overall duration, the number of instrument movements, the number of velocity peaks and the Movement Arrest Period Ratio are the most promising predictors of expertise. Targeting performance improvement, the overall duration (p = 0.001), the number of instrument movements (p = 0.003) and the traveled instrument path length (p = 0.009) detected significant differences between subsequent trials. Using these parameters, a study can be designed targeting the validity and reliability of the simulation-based assessment.
Useful keywords (using NLM MeSH Indexing)
Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures/education*
Reproducibility of Results