What kind of surgery is arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that uses a small camera called an arthroscope to view the inside of a joint. The camera is inserted into the joint through a small incision, and the images it captures are displayed on a monitor. Arthroscopy can be used to diagnose and treat a wide variety of conditions affecting the joints, including:

  • Torn cartilage or meniscus in the knee
  • Torn ligaments or tendons in the shoulder, elbow, knee, or ankle
  • Damaged or diseased joint surfaces in the hip, shoulder, or knee
  • Loose or damaged pieces of bone or cartilage in a joint
  • Removal of inflamed or infected synovial tissue
  • Synovectomy, removal of inflamed synovial tissue

During the procedure, the surgeon may also use small instruments, such as scissors or shavers, to remove or repair damaged tissue, or to remove loose bodies. Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure and recovery time is usually faster than open surgery.

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