What Is Arthroscopic Surgery?

Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure performed through small incisions using an arthroscope, an instrument the size of a pencil.

Using an arthroscope, orthopaedic surgeons can visualize the joint and the surrounding area with the help of a miniature television camera attached to this tool. They can then diagnose the injury or condition and treat it. Because the surgery is performed through small incisions, patients experience a quicker recovery, with less post-operative pain. Patients also are able to return home sooner—often the day of the procedure.

 

Does Your Condition Qualify?

Types of conditions that may be treated using arthroscopic surgery include:

  • Joint inflammation or infection (such as of the knee, elbow, ankle, shoulder or wrist)
  • Acute or chronic injury
  • Damaged or torn cartilage, ligaments or tendons
  • Scarring or tissue overgrowth
  • Bone spurs
  • Loose bone fragments 
 

Featured Resources

Learn more about how arthroscopic surgery is performed in these animated videos provided by the Arthroscopy Association of North America. Here, you’ll find detailed descriptions of how this minimally invasive technique may be applied to conditions related to cartilage repair; treatment of the elbow, foot, ankle, hand, wrist, hip and knee; bunionectomy; and first metatarsal osteotomy.