Arthroscopy is a very common orthopedic procedure; however, it remains challenging from technical and psychomotor perspectives. One of the main challenges is that arthroscopy requires ambidextrous triangulation in three dimensions, while the surgeon is guided by a two-dimensional video display.

The Fundamentals of Arthroscopic Surgery Training (FAST) Program was initiated in 2011 as a collaborative effort of AANA, AAOS, and ABOS. The FAST program is based on the principle that basic surgical skills are best developed sequentially. It assumes that advanced proficiency should be based on successful completion of a basic skills curriculum.

The FAST Program consists of six modules, each providing different knowledge and skills that should be obtained sequentially:

Module 1- Basic Principles of Arthroscopy

Module 2- Basic Triangulation Skills

Module 3- Basic Interventional Arthroscopy

Module 4- Suture Anchors

Module 5- Passing Suture through Tissue

Module 6- Arthroscopic Knot Tying

  • To become familiar with the basic set-up and function of the arthroscopic ‘tower’, basic hand tools, operating room set-up, draping techniques and basic arthroscopic portals.
  • To develop basic ambidextrous triangulation skills that are required for clinical performance of arthroscopic surgical procedures.
  • To become familiar with principles of interventional arthroscopy, such as avoiding unnecessary contact with the walls of a closed space and maintaining a stable view of a targeted area while using an instrument in the opposite hand to remove or resect a tissue.
  • To understand the surgical techniques involved with the placement of suture anchors into a bone.
  • To understand the various techniques and steps sequence for the passage of suture through tissue, and become familiar with the related tools.
  • To learn the steps sequence required for tying different basic knots, which are used to tie sutures arthroscopically.
Target Audience
  • Orthopedic surgery residents from PGY1 through PGY3
  • Practicing orthopedic surgeons with limited experience performing arthroscopic surgery
  • Beginning arthroscopists
  • Little or no prior knowledge or experience with arthroscopy.
  • No prior arthroscopic motor skills practice.
  • Basic anatomical knowledge of the knee and shoulder joints and of the arthroscopic portals
Suggested Time Length

Completion of the entire course should take between 4-6 hours.

  • Surgical Science

Based on the FAST program that was initiated collaboratively by:

  • Arthroscopy Association of North America (AANA)
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)
  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS)

The full curriculum may be found here:

Fundamentals of Arthroscopic Surgery Training (FAST) Curriculum