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Objective Assessment of Surgical Training in Flexor Tendon Repair: The Utility of a Low-Cost Porcine Model as Demonstrated by a Single-Subject Research Design
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Hand Surgery.
2012 (English)In: Journal of Surgical Education, ISSN 1931-7204, Vol. 69, no 4, 504-510 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVES: This study evaluated the utility of a porcine flexor tendon model and standard biomechanical testing procedures to quantify the acquisition of surgical skills associated with Zone II flexor tendon repair in a trainee by benchmarking task performance outcomes relative to evidence-based standards. STUDY DESIGN: Single-subject repeated measures research design. Bench-top set-up of apparatus undertaken in a University Research laboratory. After initial directed learning, a trainee repaired 70 fresh flexor digitorum profundus tendons within the flexor sheath using either a Pennington or ventral-locking-loop modification of a two-strand Kessler core repair. Tendon repairs were then preconditioned and distracted to failure. Key biomechanical parameters of the repair, including the ultimate tensile strength (UTS), yield strength, 3 mm gap force and stiffness, were calculated. Repairs were divided into 3 categories, early (first 10 days), intermediate (ensuing 10 days), and late repairs (final 10 days), and potential changes in repair properties over the training period were evaluated using a general linear modeling approach. RESULTS: There was a significant change in the mechanical characteristics of the repairs over the training period, evidencing a clear learning effect (p < 0.05). Irrespective of the repair technique employed, early and intermediate repairs were characterized by a significantly lower UTS (29% and 20%, respectively), 3 mm gap (21% and 16%, respectively), and yield force (18% and 23%, respectively), but had a higher stiffness (33% and 38%, respectively) than late repairs (p < 0.05). The UTS of late repairs (47-48 N) were comparable to those published within the literature (45-51 N), suggesting surgical competence of the trainee. CONCLUSIONS: This simple, low-cost porcine model appears to be useful for providing preclinical training in flexor tendon repair techniques and has the potential to provide a quantitative index to evaluate the competency of surgical trainees. Further research is now required to identify optimal training parameters for flexor tendon repair and to develop procedure-specific standards for adequate benchmarking.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 69, no 4, 504-510 p.
Keyword [en]
tendon, reconstructive surgical procedures, education, clinical competence
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-57433DOI: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2012.01.001ISI: 000305366200013OAI: diva2:541756
Available from: 2012-07-23 Created: 2012-07-23 Last updated: 2012-07-23Bibliographically approved

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Mackay Hart, Andrew
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