Journal of Surgical Simulation 2023; 10: 9 - 18

Published: 20 July 2023


Original article

A validated benchtop simulation model for flexor tendon repair

Lydia Robb and Philippa Rust
Corresponding author: Lydia Robba, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Ninewells Hospital, NHS Tayside, Dundee, DD1 9SY, UK. Email:


Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on surgical training. Innovative approaches should be sought to aid the acquisition of technical skills to maximise intra-operative learning opportunities. This study evaluates the validity and reliability of low-cost low-fidelity flexor tendon repair simulators.

Methods: Qualitative and quantitative data were gathered from participants working in a plastic surgery department through the performance of a simulation task and completion of a validation questionnaire.

Results: Most of the participants (75%) agreed that the model accurately represents the intended procedure, demonstrating an overall high content validity. The three materials used in the model were found to have beneficial features. Participants, overall, did not have a clear preference for the material used, suggesting that the material itself is inconsequential.

Conclusions: The skill acquisition of a flexor tendon repair is gained through repeated deliberate practice. Providing a vessel for practice is more important than replicating the biological tissue.


education; simulation; surgical training; hand trauma; COVID-19