Arthroscopy is a common minimally invasive surgical procedure in which a joint (arthro-) is viewed (-scopy) through a small camera that provides the surgeon a clear view of the inside of the joint and facilitates diagnosis and treatment of many orthopedic injuries. Arthroscopy is performed through small incisions that allow for a pencil-sized camera and instruments to be inserted into the joint.
The inserted camera projects images of the interior of the joint onto a viewing monitor, and if a problem is detected, instruments are used to feel, repair or remove damaged tissue from the troubled area. An arthroscopic approach minimizes the size of surgical incisions and muscle/tissue trauma, which means less pain and a faster recovery for the patient.
Some of the most common injuries diagnosed and often corrected using an arthroscopic approach include:
- Knee: cartilage tears, inflamed tissue, wearing or injury of cartilage cushion, ligament tears
- Shoulder: rotator cuff tendon tears, bone spurs, ligament repairs, inflamed tissue or loose cartilage, recurrent dislocations
- Hip: bone spurs, dysplasia, inflammation, loose bone or cartilage fragments, infection