The Arthroscopic Surgical Skill Evaluation Tool (ASSET)

Ryan J. Koehler, Simon Amsdell, Elizabeth A. Arendt, Leslie J. Bisson, Jonathan P. Bramen, Aaron Butler, Andrew J. Cosgarea, Christopher D. Harner, William E. Garrett, Tyson Olson, Winston J. Warme, Gregg T. Nicandri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Background: Surgeries employing arthroscopic techniques are among the most commonly performed in orthopaedic clinical practice; however, valid and reliable methods of assessing the arthroscopic skill of orthopaedic surgeons are lacking. Hypothesis: The Arthroscopic Surgery Skill Evaluation Tool (ASSET) will demonstrate content validity, concurrent criterionoriented validity, and reliability when used to assess the technical ability of surgeons performing diagnostic knee arthroscopic surgery on cadaveric specimens. Study Design: Cross-sectional study; Level of evidence, 3. Methods: Content validity was determined by a group of 7 experts using the Delphi method. Intra-articular performance of a right and left diagnostic knee arthroscopic procedure was recorded for 28 residents and 2 sports medicine fellowship-trained attending surgeons. Surgeon performance was assessed by 2 blinded raters using the ASSET. Concurrent criterion-oriented validity, interrater reliability, and test-retest reliability were evaluated. Results: Content validity: The content development group identified 8 arthroscopic skill domains to evaluate using the ASSET. Concurrent criterion-oriented validity: Significant differences in the total ASSET score (P < .05) between novice, intermediate, and advanced experience groups were identified. Interrater reliability: The ASSET scores assigned by each rater were strongly correlated (r = 0.91, P < .01), and the intraclass correlation coefficient between raters for the total ASSET score was 0.90. Test-retest reliability: There was a significant correlation between ASSET scores for both procedures attempted by each surgeon (r = 0.79, P<.01). Conclusion: The ASSET appears to be a useful, valid, and reliable method for assessing surgeon performance of diagnostic knee arthroscopic surgery in cadaveric specimens. Studies are ongoing to determine its generalizability to other procedures as well as to the live operating room and other simulated environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1229-1237
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • arthroscopic surgery
  • assessment
  • education
  • proficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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