What Is Arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy  is  a  surgical  procedure  orthopaedic  surgeons use  to  visualise,  diagnose  and  treat problems inside a joint. Through very small incisions in the patient’s skin the surgeon inserts the pencil-shaped  arthroscope  into  the  joint.  A  miniature  lens  and  lighting  system  magnifies  and illuminates the structures inside the joint.  Because arthroscopy is performed through very small incisions, the hospital stay is short and the recovery is faster.

Why Is It Necessary?

Diagnosing joint injuries and disease begins with a thorough medical history and physical examination, and sometimes x-rays.  Further diagnosis using arthroscopy may be required because it gives a precise direct view of the affected bones and soft tissues (ligaments and cartilage).

With the arthroscope, surgeons can see more of the joint than is possible even with a large incision made during an open operation.

Diseases and injuries can damage bones, cartilage, ligaments, muscles and tendons.  Some of the most frequent conditions found during arthroscopy of the joints are:

  • Torn or abnormal cartilage
  • Torn ligaments
  • Loose fragments of bone or cartilage
  • Damaged joint surfaces
  • Inflammation of the joint lining
  • Misaligned bones (such as the knee cap)

Download our information sheet to learn more about Arthroscopes.