NOTE: The SCOI CLASroom website is under construction.
This is currently the only
page available. More coming soon!
The SCOI CLASroom, which stands for the Center for Learning
Arthroscopic Skills, is the first center of its kind - a
state-of-the-art training facility for orthopedic residents, practicing surgeons,
fellows, technicians, assistants, nurses, and representatives of surgical
manufacturers. The CLASroom is staffed by full-time technicians and SCOI fellows
and provides lifelike dry cadavers, virtual reality simulators and video training
modules to teach basic and cutting-edge arthroscopic techniques.
Dr. Snyder founded the CLASroom as a result of his frustration with trying
to teach arthroscopic should procedures using cadaveric parts. "It is a
very unpleasant way to learn and the experience is very marginal. Once you
do one operative procedure on a cadaver part, you can't do it again." But
with a virtual reality simulator or lifelike model, procedures can be
performed over and over until the student masters the task.
Dr. Snyder continues, "for somebody to go to a course, spend $2,000 to
$3,000 on transportation and the course itself, and not get anything to
take home and practice with is not a good way to learn. When someone
comes to the CLASroom the tuition is low, just enough to cover the
technicians' costs, and the visitor can take away applicable skills.
Our CLASroom technicians and SCOI fellows help visitors as they go
through arthroscopic exercises. Visitors are able to practice 100 rotator
cuff repairs until they feel comfortable doing it on their own."
"Alex the Shoulder Professor" is a lifelike arthroscopy model manufactured
by Sawbones Inc. of Vashon, Washington. Alex is a dry-lab simulator and is
now able to be used with an arthroscopic camera and scope, to provide a more
complete hands-on training experience. Three stations are available with
video equipment and all the necessary hand tools, suture anchors and
disposable materials to enable visitors to learn and practice the steps in
arthroscopic surgery such as reconstructions including suture passing and
"Sammy" is a virtual reality arthroscopic simulator produced by the Mentice
Company of Sweden. This extraordinary computerized simulator is the most
realistic tool currently available for learning shoulder arthroscopy. Sammy
is a complete 3-D simulation of the entire shoulder environment, and is a
valuable aid for teaching hand-eye coordination, triangulation, anatomy and
surgical techniques. Through a force-feedback system, the user experiences
the same tactile sensations as when actually operating in the shoulder.
The simulation is complete with "fluid" and even "blood" when a vessel is
accidentally cut. The number of procedures that can be performed on Sammy
is rapidly increasing. Subacromial decompression, capsular shrinkage, and
removal of loose bodies are all currently available, and soon cuff and labral
reconstruction, as well as capsular plication will be added. Mentice is
presently working on a knee module for the simulator and plans for other
joints are in the works.
"Misty" is a virtual reality task simulator designed to teach bimanual
manipulations using a series of hand tools connected to a computer. This
simulator is remarkably useful for training all levels of surgeons to be
efficient and precise when operating with a scope and video screen.
Audio and Video Cable Links
Visitors can participate in two on-going arthroscopic surgeries being
performed in the Center for Orthopedic Surgery, Inc., through 2-way
audio-video communication. At the same time the visitor may practice the
techniques used by the surgeons on the "Alex" or "Sammy" simulators located
in the CLASroom.
CLASroom visitors have complete access to an extensive assortment of
tapes, CD's and DVD's that provide instruction on hundreds of surgical procedures
and that can be copied for future use. Two computer stations allow visitors to
develop their own video editing and production skills, produce Power Point
presentations, access online data and interact with other centers through
Stephen J. Snyder, MD, and his partners at the Southern California
Orthopedic Institute have always been committed to the education of other
medical professionals. The CLASroom is the latest step in the pursuit
of educational excellence. Each year, hundreds of visitors come to SCOI to
learn and observe.
The CLASroom is located in SCOI's main office at:
6815 Noble Avenue
Van Nuys, California 91405
For more information on SCOI, please visit