Challenges of Spine Interventions Training
A study, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has reported that back pain is often the leading cause of disability around the world and due to our ageing population this trend is only likely to continue. Comprehensive and robust training for interventional pain management is important if medical professionals are going to keep up with patient demand for help in managing their acute spine pain.
Chronic pain conditions often mean significant lifestyle changes for patients but with the correct treatment many patients can receive life-changing results. With interventional pain management, a medical subspecialty that treats symptoms of severe pain, invasive interventions can be offered, such as facet joint injections and nerve blocks. These procedures interrupt the flow of pain signals along specific nervous system pathways and can be enormously effective for patients.
Learning how to diagnose and treat spinal pain has never been easy but students and trainees can practice and learn interventions in the safe setting of a bio-skills lab. This has been the preferred choice to allow for practical experience, practising the fine motor skills that are required for such a delicate procedure and ensuring that patient safety is never compromised. However, this does come at a price. Cadavers cost in excess of € 500 each and require specific preparation and storage conditions to prevent tissue breakdown and retain overall viability for training.
3B Scientific medical simulation trainers offer an alternative solution delivering highly realistic hands-on training for medical professionals. The Image Guided Lumbar Spinal Injection Trainer (P65) allows trainees to identify the target tissue and vulnerable structures whilst using imaging techniques to identify the correct positioning of needles during spine interventions. This spinal phantom is the first to offer both realistic radiopacity and anatomy for hands-on practice and is replacing cadavers in bio-skills labs.
Where cadavers have been used in the past, for this type of medical training, the 3B Scientific series of image guided spinal injection trainers allow for greater in-depth education that can be repeated again and again to ensure ‘gold standard’ care is learned. This range of spinal injection trainers doesn’t require special preparation or storage environments and can be re-used repeatedly, making them much more cost effective than traditional cadavers.
The Image Guided Spinal Injection Trainers offer:
- Life-like radiopacity for realistic x-ray images
- Realistic injection haptics
- Anatomically accurate bone structure
- Visually identifiable landmarks
Self-sealing material can be used repeatedly for injection training and 3B Scientific’s simulators are also completely portable, durable and easy to clean.
A variety of image guided spinal interventions can be trained on spinal phantoms including:
- Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injections (TFSI)
- Intralaminar Epidural Injection
- Facet Blocks
- Medial Branch Block (MBB/RF)
- Sacroiliac Joint Injection (SIJ-injection)
The Lumbar Spinal Injection Trainer is incredibly realistic, allowing trainees to practice identifying the Sacrum, S1-S3 (with sacral hiatus canal), Ilium, bilateral without ischial bone and hip joint, T12-L5 and Coccyx.
In the past, cadavers have been the only way to carry out training for image guided injections into the spine. There simply hasn’t been a way to reproduce life-like radiopacity for x-ray images. However, with the launch of 3B Scientific’s ground-breaking simulation range, this is no longer out of reach. 3B Scientific simulators offer highly-realistic features that allow for much-needed realism. They offer the opportunity to experience life-like perception, manipulation, touch and proprioception whilst administering injections into an anatomically accurate spinal bone structure.
During hands-on lab training, realism is also important to ensure that vital techniques are learned to position the C-arm correctly. Ensuring that trainees are confident in these areas will help to minimise patients’ time exposed to x-ray.
When the term “interventional pain management” was first coined, by pain management specialist Steven D. Waldman in 1966, it was only an emerging speciality. It’s unlikely that such comprehensive and realistic training could have been envisioned or that it could be made available to so many medical professionals around the world. As our understanding of pain management continues to be refined, 3B Scientific Image Guided Spinal Injection Trainers will have a pivotal role in ensuring a greater understanding and delivery of this life-changing medical speciality.