Is a minimally invasive surgical procedure in which a physical examination of the interior of a joint is performed using an arthroscope, a type of endoscope that is inserted into the joint through a small incision.
The advantage over traditional knee endoscopies is that only small incisions need to be made, and the joint does not have to be opened up fully. This reduces the recovery time of the patient and may increase the rate of surgical success due to less trauma to the connective tissue. It is especially useful for professional athletes, who frequently injure knee joints and require fast healing time.
It can be used in the knee, hip, shoulder, ankle, wrist, or elbow.
Diagnoses made with arthroscopes are significantly more accurate than those made based on symptoms alone. One common type of arthroscopic surgery is a meniscectomy, the removal of torn cartilage in the knee. Other common procedures in the knee include the repair of torn cartilage or ligaments and removal of scar tissue on the patella, or kneecap. Hip arthroscopies are used to remove loose bodies, pieces of cartilage or scar tissue that have broken away from surrounding tissue. Other procedures used in the hip joint include removing bone fragments or cartilage build-up. In the shoulder, arthroscopic surgery is used to repair the rotator cuff as well as to remove loose bodies. Arthroscopic procedures can be employed to alleviate the pain of certain types of arthritis. It may also be used with an open surgical procedure, such as an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) reconstruction.