Patient care

Man working with therapist

We strive to provide the highest level of patient care reflective of the sophisticated techniques and cutting-edge research offered at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center. Our expert physicians and nurse managers use a multidisciplinary approach to provide you and your loved ones with the most appropriate and responsive treatment.

Ask yourself, “Where does it hurt?” This is the No. 1 question you need to ask yourself. The answer will help us set you on the right course and identify which of our physicians can best serve you.

For additional advice, you can also consult our joint restoration program patient handbook PDF .

Terms to know

Some of the terms below may be more familiar than others, but they are all common in the world of orthopaedics.

Achilles tendon
This tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel bone; Achilles tendonitis is a common overuse injury and inflammation of the tendon.

ACL reconstruction
Surgery that repairs the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) when it's torn and does not heal on its own.

Arthritis
There are more than 100 different types of arthritis.

Carpal tunnel
This syndrome is caused by increased pressure on a nerve entering the hand through the confined space of the carpal tunnel.

Herniated disk
A “slipped” or “ruptured” disk in the neck or lower back.

Joint replacement
An arthritic or damaged joint is removed and replaced with an artificial joint called a prosthesis.

Meniscal tear
The meniscus is a wedgelike rubbery cushion where the major bones of the leg connect. Tears often occur in athletes twisting the knee or pivoting during contact sports.

Orthopaedic tumors
A tumor is a lump or mass of tissue that forms when cells divide uncontrollably.

Rotator cuff tear
Rotator cuff tear is a common cause of pain and disability in the adult population. Most tears occur in the supraspinatus but other parts of the tendon may be involved.

Scoliosis
Side-to-side spinal curves.

Shoulder impingement
It results from pressure on the rotator cuff from part of the shoulder blade (scapula) as the arm is lifted.

Tennis elbow
Tennis elbow is a degenerative condition of the tendon fibers that attach on the bony prominence (epicondyle) on the outside (lateral side) of the elbow. The tendons involved are responsible for anchoring the muscles that extend or lift the wrist and hand.

Trigger finger
Tendons that help bend the fingers and thumb slide through a snug tunnel. When irritation occurs, it can cause the tunnel to become smaller or the tendon to thicken so that it cannot easily pass through the tunnel. As the finger straightens, the tendon becomes momentarily stuck at the mouth of the tunnel, then pops as the tendon slips past the tight area.

More terms to know

For other orthopaedic-related issues, visit the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. On this site you can search the Patient Education Library by body part or category of specialty. If you have any questions about the information you read, please be sure to ask your physician at your next appointment.

Visit the library.