Arthroscopy

Overview

Definition

Arthroscopy is a surgery done to examine a joint visually. Most of the time, it is done on large joints like the knee or shoulder. A special tool called an arthroscope is used. It is an instrument that looks like a long tube with a miniature camera on the end. Repairs or corrections to the joint may be done by using the arthroscope and other tools.

Diagnostic Arthroscopy of the Right Knee
IMAGE
Arthroscopy can be done to diagnose an injury or a condition.
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Possible Complications

Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:

  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Swelling or bleeding
  • Damage to blood vessels, nerves, or other tissue
  • The need to have another surgery or more extensive surgery

Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Pre-existing heart or lung condition
  • Obesity
  • Recent or chronic illness
  • Diabetes
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Smoking

SymptomsandDiagnosis

Treatments

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.

a (Fiberoptic Joint Examination)

Click here to view an animated version of this procedure.

RESOURCES

Arthritis Foundation http://www.arthritis.org 

Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://www.orthoinfo.org 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

The Arthritis Society http://www.arthritis.ca 

Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org 

References

Arthroscopy. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00109. Updated May 2010. Accessed December 16, 2015.

Katz JN, Brownlee SA, Jones MH. The role of arthroscopy in the management of knee osteoarthritis. Best Pract Res Clni Rheum. 2014;28:143-156.

Lindström D, Azodi O, et al. Effects of a perioperative smoking cessation intervention on postoperative complications: A randomized trial. Ann Surg. 2008;248:739-745.

Salzler MJ, Lin A, Miller CD, et al. Complications after arthroscopic knee surgery. Am J Sports Med. 2014;42(2):292-296.

Thorlund JB, Juhl CB, Roos EM, et al. Arthroscopic knee surgery for degenerative knee: systematic review and meta-analysis of benefits and harms. BMJ 2015;350:h2747

What is arthroscopy? Arthroscopy Association of North America website. Available at: http://www.aana.org/ForPatients/WhatisArthroscopy.aspx. Accessed December 16, 2015.

Yacub J, Rice B, et al. Nerve injury in patients after hip and knee arthroplasties and knee arthroscopy. Am J PhysMed Rehabil. 2009;88:635-641.