Aptitude for Shoulder Arthroscopy

Authors: M.J. Gandhi, L.Funk

References: SECEC, 2005

The skills required for arthroscopic surgery differ to that for open surgery. It is recognised that not everyone has the specific abilities to perform arthroscopic surgery and perhaps some medical students have the ability to develop arthroscopic skills more easily than others.

AIMS: The aim of this study is to assess whether any particular activities or demographics identified on a questionnaire involved any preconditioning skills for shoulder arthroscopic skills.

METHODS: 32 medical students were asked to complete a questionnaire, including demographics, sports and hobbies. They performed preset basic arthroscopic skills of navigation, triangulation, instrumentation on a shoulder model, They were grouped by their sex, hand dominance, preference for surgery and if they participated in any of the 9 activity categories.

RESULTS: Non string instrument players performed significantly better than string instrument players (p=0.033) at instrumentation. Other groups (computer gamers, crafters, drummers, right handers) performed faster than their corresponding groups in all skills.

CONCLUSION: It would appear that certain hobbies and demographics may have a role in predetermining the skills required for shoulder arthroscopic surgery. Further investigation with larger groups and additional assessment tools is underway.

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