Recommended Grade Levels: 7 - 12 and up
Tips for using the site with students
Before using this activity in class (or at home with your kids) go through the activity once to make sure it works correctly on your computer(s).
WARNING: Some of the photographs and procedures in this knee surgery activity are rather graphic.
If the activity does not load after clicking the 'start' button, you may be asked to download a Flash Player from Adobe.com. Please click yes as this allows you to view the Virtual Knee Surgery.
If you are using an iPad or other iDevice, our games will not play without downloading an app or browser. We recommend the Puffin Academy browser, that is a moderated site limited to educational content for teachers and families to use. The Puffin Academy browser is FREE and can be found here.
If the teacher would like students to fill out a worksheet while doing the activity, that can be printed here. The worksheet is NOT necessary to complete the activity but is a way for students to show they have done the activity or for teachers to track student progress. The worksheet key can be found here.
Assessment Tools: Teachers may want to have students put their names on the worksheets and turn them in, which should indicate if students completed the assigned activity. There is also a quiz that can be given:
A quick 8 question quiz can be found here
Answers to the quiz questions can be found here
Your computer(s) will need to have some sort of sound output. Either speakers or headphones will work well. The majority of this activity has voice audio. We highly recommend headphones in a classroom setting. Hearing impaired students can turn on the subtitles by clicking the button in the upper right corner of the screen.
Students in the target grade-range will take approximately eight to fifteen minutes to complete surgery working individually or in groups of two to three. Some students can get queasy using this activity, particularly looking at the photos of real surgery. We recommend keeping a close eye on students when they experience this activity for the first time.
After students use the site, teachers may want to discuss with their class why certain steps of surgery occurred in the order they did or why these steps were performed at all. Leading questions such as "why don't patients need a painkiller during surgery?" will get students thinking about WHY various steps exist or why they are accomplished as they are. Teachers can also ask questions such as, "What do you think the FIRST knee replacement surgery was like and how do you think it differed from today's surgery?"
An absolutely fantastic follow-up activity is to experience the COSI Surgical Suite: Total Knee Replacement video conference program. This is real surgery, in real time. Students can watch the surgery via video conference equipment and talk to the surgeon and OR personnel as the surgery progresses. If you are interested in this program, see the following URL (but we warn you, this program is popular and sells out early in the school year): http://www.cosi.org/educators/educator-ivc/item/total-knee-replacement (scroll about halfway down this page).
Answers to Questions in the Activity
Q1. Are we performing surgery today?
A1. Yes, we are doing surgery as all vital signs are in acceptable ranges.
Q2. Which knee needs surgery?
A2. The left knee needs surgery.
Q3. What functions should these drugs perform?
A3. Paralytic agent, amnestic agent and relaxant.
Q4. Why do you think knee surgery involves so many drapes?
A4. To protect the patient's new prosthetic.
Q5. What purpose do you think the perpendicular lines serve?
A5. To make it easier to match skin when closing incision.
Q6. Why do you think the two tibial components are inserted separately instead of as one unit?
A6. The plastic spacer can be replaced when it wears out.
Q7. Why do you think so many steps are taken to insure proper alignment?
A7. Faulty alignment can create many complications.
Q8. What is the major difference between these two methods of closing the incision?
A8. Sutures cause less scaring.
Q9. What kind of forces do you think the new knee will need to withstand?
A9. 5x the weight of the body.
Next Generation Science Standards
Common Core Standards for Virtual Knee Surgery
CCSS Middle School ELA
RST.6-8.3 Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
RST.6-8.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6–8 texts and topics.
RST.6-8.9 Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.
CCSS High School Math
HSN-Q.A.3 Choose a level of accuracy appropriate to limitations on measurement when reporting quantities.
CCSS High School ELA
RST.9-10.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text’s explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.
RST.9-10.3 Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks, attending to special cases or exceptions defined in the text.
RST.9-10.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9–10 texts and topics.
RST.11-12.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms.
RST.11-12.3 Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks; analyze the specific results based on explanations in the text.
RST.11-12.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 11–12 texts and topics.
Ohio Science Standards
Science & Technology
- Give examples of how technological advances, influenced by scientific knowledge, affect the quality of life.
- Design a solution or product taking into account needs and constraints (e.g., cost, time, trade-offs, properties of materials, safety and aesthetics).
- Explain that there are differing sets of procedures for guiding scientific investigations and procedures are determined by the nature of the investigation, safety considerations and appropriate tools.
Scientific Ways of Knowing
- Explain how ethical considerations shape scientific endeavors.
- Explain how societal issues and considerations affect the progress of science and technology.
National Science Standards
- Understandings about scientific Inquiry.
- Understanding of structure and function in living systems, reproduction and heredity.
- Abilities of technological design and understandings about science and technology.
- Personal health risks and benefits, science and technology in society.
- Understandings about scientific inquiry.
- Matter, energy and organization in living systems and behavior of organisms.
- Abilities of technological design, understandings about science and technology.
- Natural and human-induced hazards, science and technology in local, national, and global challenges.
- Understanding of the nature of scientific knowledge and science as a human endeavor.