Orthopaedic Residents Improve Confidence and Knot-Tying Speed with a Skills Course

Brian B. Gilmer, Dolores M. Guerrero, Nathan W. Coleman, Aaron M. Chamberlain, Winston J. Warme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose To determine the effect of a knot-tying module, within an arthroscopic training course, on resident speed, resident confidence, and biomechanical quality of arthroscopically tied knots. Methods Sixty-four participants (8 postgraduate year [PGY]-3 and 8 PGY-4 orthopaedic residents annually for 4 years) were enrolled in a 5-day training course, which included a daily knot-tying module. Self-assessed confidence was obtained by pre-course (day 1) and post-course (day 5) questionnaire. Each participant tied 5 sequential knots using an arthroscopic knot-tying station. Time per knot was recorded in seconds. Knots were later preloaded, cycled, and tested for peak load to failure and displacement change. Mean peak load to failure, displacement change, speed, and confidence were compared before and after training. Results The mean time to complete 5 knots was significantly faster after training (12.8 minutes before the course [day 1] v 9.39 minutes after the course [day 5]) (P <.0001). Confidence improved from pre-course (mean, 3.3) to post-course (mean, 7.8) questionnaires (P <.0001). No statistically significant difference was found between peak force for pre-course (mean, 136 N) and post-course (mean, 138 N) knots (P =.076). No statistically significant difference was detected in mean displacement change (mean, 3.51 mm before the course v 3.57 mm after the course) (P =.61). Comparison of PGY-3 and PGY-4 residents was significant only for a higher pre-course confidence in PGY-4 residents (P =.02). Conclusions Participation in an arthroscopic knot-tying module improves resident speed and confidence in tying arthroscopic knots. Our data did not show a significant change in peak load to failure or loop security with training. These findings suggest that participation in a knot-tying module improves efficiency regarding arthroscopic knot tying by residents. Clinical Relevance Residents who practice arthroscopic knot tying 5 days per year as part of an arthroscopic training course may be more efficient in the operating room.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1343-1348.e2
JournalArthroscopy - Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


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