Arthroscopy or arthroscopic surgery

Arthroscopy is a procedure used to examine the inside of a joint by inserting a thin tube (arthroscope) containing a camera and light through small incisions near the joint. The camera sends a close-up video image of the joint to a TV monitor, where the doctor can look at the inside of the joint.

Arthroscopy can be used to diagnose joint diseases and injuries and to treat some joint problems. The doctor can insert surgical instruments through the arthroscope to take tissue samples or to repair injuries or damage to the joint. The doctor may make other small incisions in the joint to insert other instruments.

Generally, recovery after arthroscopic surgery is quicker and easier than after traditional surgery that uses larger incisions. Most people can go home from the hospital the same day.

Last Updated: January 28, 2009

Author: Shannon Erstad, MBA/MPH

Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine & Patrick J. McMahon, MD - Orthopedics & Kenneth J. Koval, MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma

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