Arthroscopy is an advanced surgical procedure used to visualize, diagnose and treat problems inside a joint. This procedure is also known as arthroscopic surgery, involving a minimally invasive surgical incision to correct orthopedic joint trauma/conditions by inserting a pencil-sized instrument, an arthroscope, into a small incision in the compromised area. The arthroscope contains a small lens and lighting system to magnify and illuminate the structures inside the joint. Light is transmitted through fiber optics to the end of the arthroscope that is inserted into the joint. By attaching the arthroscope to a miniature television camera, the surgeon can see the interior of the joint through this very small incision and treat the patient. Since it is a small incision, the procedure provides a quick recovery and less post-operative pain than with open surgery.
In nearly all cases, patients are able to return home the same day as their procedure is performed. Conditions treated with arthroscopy include:
- Bone spurs
- Damaged/torn cartilage
- Inflamed/infected joints
- Loose bone fragments
- Torn ligaments and tendons
- Scarring or tissue overgrowth within joints