OEBB

What is arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy is a procedure for diagnosing and treating joint problems. During arthroscopy, a surgeon examines and, in many cases, repairs your injured or diseased joint with the help of an optical instrument called an arthroscope. An arthroscope consists of a light source, a lens system, and bundled glass or plastic fibers (fiber optics) to carry light to the area being examined. These instruments are encased in a tube, usually about one-eighth of an inch (4 mm) in diameter. A video camera attached to the arthroscope relays the view from within your joint to a video monitor. Because the arthroscope is so narrow, your surgeon needs only a small incision to place it in your joint.

View image of shoulder arthroscopy (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)

View image of knee arthroscopy (National Institutes of Health)

Resources

Please visit these resources for more information:

Arthroscopy. Updated July 2008 by: Thomas N. Joseph, MD, Private Practice specializing in Orthopaedics, subspecialty Foot and Ankle, Camden Bone & Joint, Camden, SC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. National Institutes of Health

Arthroscopy. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). 1998-2010.

Arthritis Health Center.  Arthroscopy. 2009. WebMD.

What is arthroscopy? Accessed 2010. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

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