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The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 93-B, Issue 12 | Pages 1586 - 1591
1 Dec 2011
Alvand A Auplish S Khan T Gill HS Rees JL

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of training on the arthroscopic performance of a group of medical students and to determine whether all students could be trained to competence. Thirty-three medical students with no previous experience of arthroscopy were randomised to a ‘Trained’ or an ‘Untrained’ cohort. They were required to carry out 30 episodes of two simulated arthroscopic tasks (one shoulder and one knee). The primary outcome variable was task success at each episode. Individuals achieved competence when their learning curve stabilised. The secondary outcome was technical dexterity, assessed objectively using a validated motion analysis system. Six subjects in the ‘Untrained’ cohort failed to achieve competence in the shoulder task, compared with one in the ‘Trained’ cohort. During the knee task, two subjects in each cohort failed to achieve competence. Based on the objective motion analysis parameters, the ‘Trained’ cohort performed better on the shoulder task (p < 0.05) but there was no significant difference for the knee task (p > 0.05).

Although specific training improved the arthroscopic performance of novices, there were individuals who could not achieve competence despite focused training.These findings may have an impact on the selection process for trainees and influence individual career choices.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 91-B, Issue 7 | Pages 915 - 917
1 Jul 2009
Gwilym SE Watkins B Cooper CD Harvie P Auplish S Pollard TCB Rees JL Carr AJ

The aim of this study was to investigate genetic influences on the development and progression of tears of the rotator cuff. From a group of siblings of patients with a tear of the rotator cuff and of controls studied five years earlier, we determined the prevalence of tears of the rotator cuff with and without associated symptoms using ultrasound and the Oxford Shoulder Score.

In the five years since the previous assessment, three of 62 (4.8%) of the sibling group and one of the 68 (1.5%) controls had undergone shoulder surgery. These subjects were excluded from the follow-up.

Full-thickness tears were found in 39 of 62 (62.9%) siblings and in 15 of 68 (22.1%) controls (p = 0.0001). The relative risk of full-thickness tears in siblings as opposed to controls was 2.85 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.75 to 4.64), compared to 2.42 (95% CI 1.77 to 3.31) five years earlier. Full-thickness tears associated with pain were found in 30 of 39 (76.9%) tears in the siblings and in eight of 15 (53.3%) tears in the controls (p = 0.045). The relative risk of pain associated with a full-thickness tear in the siblings as opposed to the controls was 1.44 (95% CI 2.04 to 8.28) (p = 0.045).

In the siblings group ten of 62 (16.1%) had progressed in terms of tear size or development compared to one of 68 (1.5%) in the control group which had increased in size.

Full-thickness rotator cuff tears in siblings are significantly more likely to progress over a period of five years than in a control population. This implies that genetic factors have a role, not only in the development but also in the progression of full-thickness tears of the rotator cuff.