An arthroscope is a small tube that is inserted into the body that
consists of a system of lenses, a small video camera, and a light for
viewing. The camera is connected to a monitoring system that allows a
surgeon to view the operation while it is being performed. The
arthroscope is often used in conjunction with other tools that are
generally inserted through another incision. These tools, unlike the
arthroscope, are used for grasping, cutting, and probing.
What is arthroscopy?
Arthroscopy is a procedure used for joint conditions. Originally,
arthroscopy was a diagnostic tool only, used primarily for planning a
standard open surgery. However, because of the development of new
instruments and advanced surgical techniques, many conditions can also
be treated with arthroscopic surgery.
What does arthroscopic surgery generally involve?
Although each procedure varies, generally, arthroscopic surgeries
involve the following:
A general, local, or spinal anesthetic is administered.
A small incision is made in the patient's skin.
The arthroscope is inserted through the incision.
Other incisions may be made to introduce other small grasping,
probing, or cutting tools.
Light is transmitted via fiber optics at the end of the
Information about the interior of the joint is transmitted to a
Corrective surgery, if necessary, may be performed during the
initial diagnostic procedure.
Dressings or bandages may be applied to the post-operative area.
The small puncture wounds created by the arthroscope and probing tool(s)
may take several days to heal.
Recovery time depends on the extent of the surgery and on the individual
patient. However, most arthroscopic surgery is done on an outpatient
basis, and patients are allowed to go home within hours after the
surgery. Some patients resume daily activities and return to work or
school within a few days. Athletes and other patients in good physical
condition may return to athletic activities within a few weeks, under
the care of their physician.
Joints most frequently examined via arthroscopy:
The joints most frequently examined using arthroscopy include the
Conditions most frequently found with arthroscopy:
The following are the conditions most frequently discovered during an
inflammation (including in the lining of the synovium in the
knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist, or ankle)
injuries, including the following:
rotator cuff tendon tears, impingement syndrome,
and recurrent dislocations in the shoulder
meniscal (cartilage) tears, chondromalacia
(wearing or injury of cartilage cushion), and
anteriorcruciate ligament tears with instability
in the knee
carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist
pieces of loose bone and/or cartilage
(particularly in the knee, shoulder, elbow,
ankle, or wrist)
Always consult your physician for a treatment recommendation based on
your individual condition.
Paoli Hospital Orthopedics
New Appointments 1.866.CALL.MLH or 484.580.1000
255 West Lancaster Avenue
Paoli, PA 19301
For more information, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.