Operative Neurosurgery. Published online March 14th, 2018. doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/ons/opy030
Hou, Yang, Yanping Lin, Jiangang Shi, Huajiang Chen, and Wen Yuan
The virtual simulation surgery has initially exhibited its promising potentials in neurosurgery training.
To evaluate effectiveness of the Virtual Surgical Training System (VSTS) on novice residents placing thoracic pedicle screws in a cadaver study.
A total of 10 inexperienced residents participated in this study and were randomly assigned to 2 groups. The group using VSTS to learn thoracic pedicle screw fixation was the simulation training (ST) group and the group receiving an introductory teaching session was the control group. Ten fresh adult spine specimens including 6 males and 4 females with a mean age of 58.5 yr (range: 33-72) were collected and randomly allocated to the 2 groups. After exposing anatomic structures of thoracic spine, the bilateral pedicle screw placement of T6-T12 was performed on each cadaver specimen. The postoperative computed tomography scan was performed on each spine specimen, and experienced observers independently reviewed the placement of the pedicle screws to assess the incidence of pedicle breach.
The screw penetration rates of the ST group (7.14%) was significantly lower in comparison to the control group (30%, P < .05). Statistically significant difference in acceptable rates of screws also occurred between the ST (100%) and control (92.86%) group (P < .05). In addition, the average screw penetration distance in control group (2.37 mm ± 0.23 mm) was significantly greater than ST group (1.23 mm ± 0.56 mm, P < .05).
The virtual reality surgical training of thoracic pedicle screw instrumentation effectively improves surgical performance of novice residents compared to those with traditional teaching method, and can help new beginners to master the surgical technique within shortest period of time.