Importance of Human Tissue for Hands-on Orthopedic Surgical Training

Surgeon Training Cadaver Tissue

Importance of Human Tissue for Hands-on Orthopedic Surgical Training

“When it comes to learning actual – rather than simulated – human anatomy, the digital representations, even with all of their additional affordances, did not work as well as the cadaver.” Cary Roseth, Ph., D. Michigan State University

A large percentage of tissues provided by Science Care donors are utilized by medical device companies to conduct research and provide hands-on orthopedic surgical training to physicians. According to the CDC, the total number of orthopedic surgeries performed in the US in 2010 amounted to roughly 5.3 million. Some believe this number could rise as high as 6.6 million by 2020. This projected increase in the number of surgeries being performed underscores the need for highly trained surgeons in the field of orthopedics, as well as innovations with regard to how and when procedures are performed.

In recent years, technological advances have allowed for alternative methods of instruction in the learning process for medical students, as well as for physicians and surgeons continuing their education. Technology has advanced so far in this realm that the use of cadaveric tissue as a means of instruction and training is often debated, with some considering the practice obsolete and unnecessary. However, research performed by the University of Michigan and the Royal College of Surgeons in the UK has concluded that while electronic means of instruction can be used to supplement the learning experience, exposure to cadaveric tissue as part of the learning process allows for better identification of anatomical structures and understanding of how these structures function. The ability to identify these structures coupled with a superior understanding of their functionality is crucial to proper execution of surgical procedures. The studies linked below indicate that the use of cadaveric tissue aids in ensuring that those tasked with performing surgeries such as hip, knee, and shoulder replacement, as well as spinal procedures are highly qualified within their fields.

Advanced research and training made possible by the use of cadaveric tissue has led to increased innovation in the development of medical devices and surgical techniques, as well as elevated confidence and competency among surgeons. As a result, patients directly benefit through expedited post-surgery recovery with fewer complications, and an overall long term improvement in their quality of life. Science Care goes to great lengths to ensure that the tissue procured from our donors and provided for use in orthopedic research and training settings is tailored to meet specific client needs, and is of the highest possible quality. In donating their bodies to science, Science Care donors assist in driving innovation and creating competency among surgeons to improve quality of life for generations to come.


Inpatient Surgery” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015. Web. 10 Feb. 2016.

Walsh, Marie-Therese, PhD. “Cadavers Superior to Computers When It Comes to Learning Anatomy” Cadavers Superior to Computers When It Comes to Learning Anatomy. 17 Oct. 2014. Web. 10 Feb. 2016.

Deehan, DJ, S. Gillinder, and JP Holland. “Cadaveric Surgical Training Improves Surgeon Confidence” :The Bulletin of the Royal College of Surgeons of England: Vol 97, No 1. 1 Jan. 2015. Web. 10 Feb. 2016

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