Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Center of Excellence in Sports Medicine Department of Orthopaedics Surgical Skills Lab

A lab technician uses lab equipment.

Training scenarios on our high fidelity arthroscopic simulator mimic situations, problems and complications that are known to occur with patients in real circumstances.

Our laboratory simulates the arthroscopic operating room environment by using realistic synthetic joint models and cadaveric specimens. You can learn and practice surgical skills in a controlled environment with our virtual reality arthroscopy simulator.

Partially funded by a $5.2 million grant from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, lab is dedicated to the training of medical students, orthopaedic residents, and sports medicine fellows in the latest arthroscopic techniques. 

Located in the Surgical Simulation Lab of UB RISE at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, our laboratory was designed to replicate the arthroscopic operating room using realistic synthetic joint models and cadaveric specimens and consists of two vertical towers containing all of the components needed for arthroscopy.

Our orthopedic residents spend time in the lab with tutoring from our faculty in arthroscopic surgery, fracture work, spine surgery and joint replacement surgery.

Our school’s Gross Anatomy Lab, which has a robust anatomical gifts program, supplies specimens for this lab.

Resources and Equipment

Virtual Systems

Our virtual reality arthroscopy simulators bring to life the subtle differences of probing disparate tissues of the joints.

The state-of-the-art VirtaMed simulator uses a unique cryosectioning technique giving 0.1 mm resolution and employs sophisticated finite element modeling techniques to produce accurate real‐time deformations in response to motion and to instrument manipulation.

Desktop phantom devices display the full range of interaction forces associated with the procedures. Training is delivered through movies, text and images.

The simulator enables you to use the same equipment you’d find in the operating room. It lets you practice at your own pace and gives you opportunities to perfect your skills outside the pressures and time constraints of the operating room.

Our simulator measures performance, which gives you valuable insight into your progress and helps you improve your skills.

Our arthroscopy laboratory will help you:

  • learn all relevant superficial and arthroscopic anatomy of the major joints of the body
  • practice the navigational skills of arthroscopy, such as orientation, localization, triangulation and quadrangulation
  • practice diagnostic arthroscopy of all of the major joints
  • gain experience with basic and advanced arthroscopic procedures

This virtual reality knee and shoulder arthroscopic simulator is part of our core curriculum for teaching residents and fellows. We are leaders in using this arthroscopy simulator in training. We continue to evaluate new technologies and simulation platforms to ensure that we remain at the forefront of virtual instruction.

Resources and Equipment

  • Touch of Life Technologies virtual knee and shoulder arthroscopy simulator
  • VirtaMed virtual knee, shoulder, hip and ankle simulator
  • arthroscopy tower with:
    • arthroscopes
    • high flow sheath systems
    • HD video monitors
    • camera heads
    • camera control units
    • camera light sources
    • mechanical shaver control units
    • shaver hand pieces
    • shaver footswitches
    • fluid management systems
  • arthroscopy hand instruments and tray
  • knot tying stations, knee and shoulder phantoms
  • FAST workstations
  • power hand tools including:
    • drills
    • sagittal saw


Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
955 Main Street, Suite 7130
Buffalo, NY 14203

Contact Information

Director, Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Center of Excellence in Sports Medicine Skills Lab

Marzo, John

John Marzo, MD

Clinical Professor

Room 7156 955 Main St Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences 955 Main Street Room 7156 Buffalo, NY 14203

Phone: (716) 829-2982; Fax: (716) 829-3945

Email: jmmarzo@buffalo.edu

Arthroscopy Laboratory Technician

Craig S. Howard

477 Biomedical Research Building, UB South Campus, Buffalo, NY 14214

Phone: (716) 829-5694

Email: cshoward@buffalo.edu

Lab Technician

Katie Dineen, BSc LVT

Director of the Surgical Simulation Lab


955 Main Street, Suite 7152, Buffalo, NY 14203

Phone: (716) 829-5965

Email: katiedin@buffalo.edu

Staff Assistant

Mary T. Bayers-Thering

Staff Assistant

Phone: (716) 906-5900

Email: mb66@buffalo.edu