Validation of a High-Fidelity Fracture Fixation Model for Skill Acquisition in Orthopedic Surgery Residents

Benjamin W. Hoyt*, Des Raj M. Clark, Alex E. Lundy, Nicole S. Schroeder, Scott C. Wagner, Chris Langhammer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Simulation has become a widely accepted part of training and credentialing processes due to its ability to supplement technical skill acquisition outside of the operating room (OR). This project explores implementation of a bench-top simulation of open reduction with internal fixation (ORIF) as a cost-effective method for practicing and evaluating surgical skill. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Participants ranging from intern to attending surgeon performed ORIF using a standard fixation set and a bovine or porcine tibia/radius model. Performance was recorded and scored by blinded reviewers based on a modified global rating scale (GRS), objective structured assessment of technical skills (OSATS) procedure-specific checklist, and critical-mistakes (CM) model. We calculated Fleiss’ kappa for inter-rater reliability, Cronbach's alpha for internal consistency of scoring systems, and used univariate analysis to determine the ability of this model to discriminate between training levels. We also performed a normalized performance-versus-cost analysis to characterize perceived value of this simulation compared to other modalities. RESULTS: Twenty subjects completed the fracture fixation exercise. Fleiss’ kappa for all scoring systems indicated substantial inter-rater agreement (k = 0.81, 0.80, and 0.74 for GRS, OSATS, and CM, respectively). Internal consistency reliability for GRS and OSATS were high with Cronbach's alpha 0.96(95%CI 0.94-0.97) and 0.94(95%CI 0.91-0.96), respectively. Using a Kuskal-Wallis rank sum test, GRS, OSATS, and CM were found effective for measuring differences between resident levels (p < 0.001, p < 0.001, and p = 0.002, respectively). Qualitative valuation of the exercise indicated similar value for education compared to time spent in the OR and surgical skills labs. CONCLUSIONS: This benchtop surgical simulation provides quantitative measurement of operative skills progression, increases trainee familiarity with ORIF principles, and permits targeted education by senior surgeons with the goal of training safe graduates. Procedure-specific checklist grading tools reliably differentiated between training levels with high internal validity. Implementing this model may decrease training costs and accelerate skill acquisition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1282-1294
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • fracture model
  • surgical simulation
  • surgical skill acquisition
  • technical skill assessment
  • video-based feedback


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