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The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 101-B, Issue 12 | Pages 1585 - 1592
1 Dec 2019
Logishetty K Rudran B Cobb JP


Arthroplasty skills need to be acquired safely during training, yet operative experience is increasingly hard to acquire by trainees. Virtual reality (VR) training using headsets and motion-tracked controllers can simulate complex open procedures in a fully immersive operating theatre. The present study aimed to determine if trainees trained using VR perform better than those using conventional preparation for performing total hip arthroplasty (THA).

Patients and Methods

A total of 24 surgical trainees (seven female, 17 male; mean age 29 years (28 to 31)) volunteered to participate in this observer-blinded 1:1 randomized controlled trial. They had no prior experience of anterior approach THA. Of these 24 trainees, 12 completed a six-week VR training programme in a simulation laboratory, while the other 12 received only conventional preparatory materials for learning THA. All trainees then performed a cadaveric THA, assessed independently by two hip surgeons. The primary outcome was technical and non-technical surgical performance measured by a THA-specific procedure-based assessment (PBA). Secondary outcomes were step completion measured by a task-specific checklist, error in acetabular component orientation, and procedure duration.