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Joint Repair

Virtua orthopedic specialists offer the complete range of direct interventions to correct joint problems, when these procedures are needed because conservative care is not sufficient or has not been adequate.   Most often these treatments take the form of minimally invasive surgical procedures.

Wikimedia Commons: BruceBlaus

Wikimedia Commons: BruceBlaus

Repairing a joint, rather than replacing it, is always the first line of consideration for joint problems, if surgery is required.   Arthroscopy is the primary approach to these repairs.   It involves making small incisions, through which the orthopedic surgeon inserts a tiny scope and surgical instruments, for an up-close view of the joint site to confirm the diagnosis and make repairs with a minimum of disruption to surrounding tissue and at the incision site.   Compared to conventional open surgery, arthroscopy means:

  • less time in the operating room
  • less anesthesia
  • same-day outpatient procedure
  • less cost
  • less scaring
  • and faster recovery.

Virtua is helping to pioneer an improved form of arthroscopy that accesses the knee through a single incision, for reduced pain and recovery time.   Read more about single port arthroscopy.

Millions of Americans experience joint problems due to tendon injury and other soft-tissue conditions. Arthroscopic treatment can reduce pain, repair structures and return movement, strength and stability to a joint.

The specialists can correct problems with joints without requiring that the patient be hospitalized and in a way that makes for quicker recovery.   The knee and shoulder are the primary sites for arthroscopy, but it can be used in the hip, elbow, wrist and other joints.

Typically, the goal of surgery is to fix an injury or progressive condition of the soft tissue of the joint, for example repairing a torn or ruptured tendon, removing scar tissue or debris, or mending or enhancing cartilage.   Arthroscopic repair of the anterior cruciate ligament or the meniscus of the knee are two of the most common forms of arthroscopy, aimed at returning joint stability and function, and relieving pain.

Virtua orthopedic surgeons have extensive experience with arthroscopic procedures for work-related or athletic injuries, and for arthritic and other long-term conditions.   In some cases, open surgery may also be necessary, for example to remove or reattach a tendon.

Learn about the FAST Technique for Joint Pain Caused by Scar Tissue


A healthy tendon moves freely and easily, but tendon damage leaves scarred or loose tissue that obstructs and limits this movement and causes soreness in the tendon. Virtua orthopedic surgeons have been successfully treating an increasing number of patients for these problems with the Tenex FAST (focused aspiration of soft tissue) technique.   In this brief procedure, the orthopedic specialist locates tendon scar tissue by moving an ultrasound instrument across the skin and then uses a needle-like instrument to remove the excess tissue.

See Lourdes’ physician newsletter on shoulder repair.

FAST is gentle, effective approach to eliminating tendonitis pain caused by the impingement of scar tissue within the joint, and restoring natural tendon shape and function.   FAST is quick, safe and minimally invasive.

Tendon pain is seen in common conditions such as:

  • persistent shoulder pain (rotator cuff)
  • tennis / golfer’s elbow (epicondyle tendon)
  • runner’s knee (patellar tendon)
  • achilles tendonitis
  • plantar fasciitis


FAST requires only a small puncture point, where the orthopedist inserts the advanced Tenex Health microtip, which uses ultrasonic energy to break up scar tissue in a controlled manner and suction it away.   For a treatment that takes about 15 minutes, patients get a local anesthetic. And only a small adhesive bandage is necessary.   Patients may experience pain relief within a few days and require minimal pain medications or physical therapy.   Most return to normal activity within a few weeks.

The procedure allows patients to avoid a surgical incision.   But, it requires skill and experience needed to remove just enough scar tissue for pain relief without weakening the attached tendon.

Learn more about Tenex FAST.

Tenex FAST procedure is a minimally invasive method to identify and remove pain-generating scar tissue.   See these testimonials:

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