Creating an Inexpensive PVC Knee Model for the Training of Ultrasound-Guided Medial Intra-Articular Knee Injections

Author(s): Ryland McDermott, Joshua Melanson, Skylar Davidson, Nora Doyle

Objectives: Ultrasound (US)-guided injections using corticosteroids or platelet-rich plasma into the knee joint is commonly used for conservative treatment of knee pathology. Practitioner skill acquisition can be challenging due to expensive simulation models and desire to limit practice on live patients. We sought to create an inexpensive, accurate educational prototype for intra-articular knee injections.

Methods: Two Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) pipes were used for the skeletal infrastructure with a detergent pod placed in between the PVC pipes to replicate the joint space. Layers of undercooked bacon simulated the hyperechoic medial collateral ligament and hypoechoic subcutaneous tissue. The total model cost was $6.88.

Results: Our PVC model simulated anatomical landmarks and was validated through comparison to standardized educational US training videos. The model was successfully recreated 10 times. Furthermore, the PVC model was able to facilitate intra-articular knee injections by penetrating through the superficial structures of the model and injecting into the detergent pod. The model was used to facilitate injections under US guidance with 24 different medical student practitioners across 4 different educational sessions. We further validated our model with US experts.

Conclusions: Our knee model was successful in replicating medial, intra-articular knee injections under US guidance. It provided accurate injection practice as it simulated realistic bony landmarks and soft tissue. Because our model is inexpensive and easy to make, many more learners in the medical field can now safely and easily practice this procedure.

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