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Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy is a procedure for diagnosing and treating joint problems. During arthroscopy, a surgeon inserts a narrow tube containing a fiber-optic video camera through a small incision — about the size of a buttonhole. The view inside your joint is transmitted to a video monitor. Arthroscopy allows the surgeon to see inside your joint without having to make a large incision. Surgeons can even repair some types of joint damage during arthroscopy, with pencil-thin surgical instruments inserted through additional small incisions.

Doctors use arthroscopy to help diagnose and treat a variety of joint conditions, most commonly those affecting the:

Knee

Shoulder

Elbow

Ankle

Hip

Wrist

Diagnostic procedures:

Arthroscopy is a procedure for diagnosing and treating joint problems. During arthroscopy, a surgeon inserts a narrow tube containing a fiber-optic video camera through a small incision — about the size of a buttonhole. The view inside your joint is transmitted to a video monitor. Doctors often turn to arthroscopy if X-rays and other imaging studies have left some diagnostic questions unanswered.

Surgical procedures :

Arthroscopy is a procedure for diagnosing and treating joint problems. During arthroscopy, a surgeon inserts a narrow tube containing a fiber-optic video camera through a small incision — about the size of a buttonhole. The view inside your joint is transmitted to a video monitor. Conditions treated with arthroscopy include

Bone spurs or loose bone fragments

Damaged or torn cartilage

Inflamed joint linings

Joint infections

Torn ligaments and tendons

Scarring or tissue overgrowth within joints

Complications, though uncommon, may include:

Tissue damage

Arthroscopy is a procedure for diagnosing and treating joint problems. During arthroscopy, a surgeon inserts a narrow tube containing a fiber-optic video camera through a small incision — about the size of a buttonhole. The view inside your joint is transmitted to a video monitor. The placement and movement of the instruments within the joint can damage the joint's structures, blood vessels or nerves.

Infection

Arthroscopy is a procedure for diagnosing and treating joint problems. During arthroscopy, a surgeon inserts a narrow tube containing a fiber-optic video camera through a small incision — about the size of a buttonhole. The view inside your joint is transmitted to a video monitor. Any type of invasive surgery carries a risk of infection.

Blood clots

Arthroscopy is a procedure for diagnosing and treating joint problems. During arthroscopy, a surgeon inserts a narrow tube containing a fiber-optic video camera through a small incision — about the size of a buttonhole. The view inside your joint is transmitted to a video monitor. Rarely, procedures that last longer than an hour can increase the risk of blood clots developing in your legs or lungs.

During the procedure

The type of anesthesia used varies by procedure.

Local anesthesia

Arthroscopy is a procedure for diagnosing and treating joint problems. During arthroscopy, a surgeon inserts a narrow tube containing a fiber-optic video camera through a small incision — about the size of a buttonhole. The view inside your joint is transmitted to a video monitor. Numbing agents are injected below the skin to block sensation in a limited area, such as your knee. With local anesthesia, you'll be awake during your arthroscopy, but the most you'll feel is pressure or a sensation of movement within the joint.

Regional anesthesia

The most common form of regional anesthesia is delivered through a small tube placed between two of your spine's lumbar vertebrae. This numbs the bottom half of your body, but you are still awake.

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