The Effectiveness of Bioskills Training for Simulated Open Lumbar Laminectomy

Barrett S. Boody*, Brett D. Rosenthal, Tyler J. Jenkins, Alpesh A. Patel, Jason W. Savage, Wellington K. Hsu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Study Design: Randomized, prospective study within an orthopedic surgery resident program at a large urban academic medical center. Objectives: To develop an inexpensive, user-friendly, and reproducible lumbar laminectomy bioskills training module and evaluation protocol that can be readily implemented into residency training programs to augment the clinical education of orthopedic and neurosurgical physicians-in-training. Methods: Twenty participants comprising senior medical students and orthopedic surgical residents. Participants were randomized to control (n = 9) or intervention (n = 11) groups controlling for level of experience (medical students, junior resident, or senior resident). The intervention group underwent a 40-minute bioskills training module, while the control group spent the same time with self-directed study. Pre- and posttest performance was self-reported by each participant (Physician Performance Diagnostic Inventory Scale [PPDIS]). Objective outcome scores were obtained from a blinded fellowship-trained attending orthopedic spine surgeon using Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills (OSATS) and Objective Decompression Score metrics. Results: When compared with the control group, the intervention group yielded a significant mean improvement in OSATS (P =.022) and PPDIS (P =.0001) scores. The Objective Decompression Scores improved in the intervention group with a trend toward significance (P =.058). Conclusions: We conclude that a concise lumbar laminectomy bioskills training session can be a useful educational tool for to augment clinical education. Although no direct clinical correlation can be concluded from this study, the improvement in trainee’s technical and procedural skills suggests that Sawbones training modules can be an efficient and effective tool for teaching fundamental spine surgical skills outside of the operating room.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)794-800
Number of pages7
JournalGlobal Spine Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Sawbones lumbar laminectomy simulation
  • bioskills training
  • spine simulation training
  • surgical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology

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