Force feedback vessel ligation simulator in knot-tying proficiency training

Justin L. Hsu, James R. Korndorffer, Kimberly M. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background Tying gentle secure knots is an important skill. We have developed a force feedback simulator that measures force exerted during knot tying. This pilot study examines the benefits of this simulator in a deliberate practice curriculum. Methods The simulator consists of silastic tubing with a force sensor. Knot quality was assessed using digital caliper measurement. Participants performed 10 vessel ligations as a pretest, then were shown force readings and tied knots until reaching proficiency targets. Average peak forces precurriculum and postcurriculum were compared using Student t test. Results Participants exerted significantly less force after completing the curriculum (.61 N ±.22 vs 1.42 N ±.53, P <.001), and had fewer air knots (10% vs 27%). The curriculum was completed in an average of 19.4 ± 6.27 minutes and required an average of 11.7 ± 4.03 knots to reach proficiency. Conclusions This study demonstrates the feasibility of real-time feedback in learning to tie delicate knots. The curriculum can be completed in a reasonable amount of time, and may also work as a warm-up exercise before a surgical case.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-415
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Curriculum
  • Force feedback
  • Knot-tying
  • Simulation
  • Surgical training
  • Vessel ligation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Force feedback vessel ligation simulator in knot-tying proficiency training'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this