Arthroscopy (ahr-THROS-kuh-pee) is a procedure for diagnosing and treating joint problems. A surgeon inserts a narrow tube attached to a fiber-optic video camera through a small incision — about the size of a buttonhole. The view inside your joint is transmitted to a high-definition video monitor.
Why it's done
Doctors use arthroscopy to help diagnose and treat a variety of joint conditions, most commonly those affecting the:
Arthroscopy is a very safe procedure and complications are uncommon. Problems may include:
- Tissue or nerve damage. The placement and movement of the instruments within the joint can damage the joint's structures.
- Infection. Any type of invasive surgery carries a risk of infection.
- Blood clots. Rarely, procedures that last longer than an hour can increase the risk of blood clots developing in your legs or lungs.