Essentials of External Fixation – one day course for trainees

On the 9th July 2013, twenty orthopaedic trainees from all over the UK attended the MSk Lab to take part in a newly developed one day training course. This national course, for trainees ranging from CT1-ST4, was organised by the simulation training team – Mr Akash Patel (Honorary Clinical Lecturer), Mr Chinmay Gupte (Lead Consultant) and Mr Amarjit Anand (Honorary Clinical Lecturer). Orthofix (, a global manufacturer of external fixation components, sponsored and supported the course.

External fixation is an important option in the armamentarium of any orthopaedic surgeon and trainees. This one day course focussed on the basic principles of external fixation with an emphasis placed on the practical hands-on saw bone sessions. The day was split in two with regards to the teaching methods. The morning comprised of talks and lectures about clinical issues and current developments in external fixation, given by consultant surgeons and a representative from Orthofix.

In the afternoon there were four practical main sessions focussing on:

  • Femur and knee
  • Tibia and ankle
  • Pelvis
  • Elbow and wrist

Prior to each was a briefing about the optimum pin positions, tips, techniques and examples of constructs. The trainees were then split into groups for the workshops giving them personal hands on experience in applying the various fixation methods. Case studies were discussed throughout the practical’s and the trainees viva’d, which added value – making the day more interactive and enhancing the learning experience.  The course candidates provided excellent feedback with 100% satisfaction rate for the teaching and training received. A few of the comments:

“Excellent opportunity to practise on saw bones and understand the principles – many thanks!”

“Great course – excellent topics – not rushed and set at the right level for orthopaedic trainees”

Keep an eye out on the MSk Lab website for more simulation training and one day courses – practise makes perfect!

To see the afternoon in pictures, please visit:

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