WellSpan Home

Health Library

Arthroscopy

What is an arthroscope?

An arthroscope is a small tube that is inserted into the body that contains a system of lenses, a small video camera, and a light for viewing. The camera is connected to a monitoring system that let a surgeon view the operation while it is being done. The arthroscope is often used with other tools that are inserted through another incision. These tools, unlike the arthroscope, are used for grasping, cutting, and probing.

What is arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy is a procedure used for joint conditions. Originally, arthroscopy was used mainly for planning a standard open surgery. However, because of the development of new instruments and advanced surgical techniques, many conditions can also be treated using an arthroscope.

Arthroscopic meniscus repair

What does arthroscopic surgery generally involve?

Although each procedure varies, generally, arthroscopic surgeries involve the following:

  • You will receive a general, local, or spinal anesthetic.

  • A small incision is made in your skin.

  • The arthroscope is inserted through the incision.

  • Other incisions may be made to introduce other small grasping, probing, or cutting tools.

  • Light is transmitted via fiber optics at the end of the arthroscope.

  • Information about the interior of the joint is transmitted to a screen.

  • Corrective surgery, if necessary, may be done  during the initial diagnostic procedure.

  • Dressings or bandages may be put on the incisions.

The small puncture wounds created by the arthroscope and probing tool(s) may take several days to heal.

Recovery time varies. However, most arthroscopic surgery is done on an outpatient basis. This means you can go home within hours after the surgery. Some people get back to their normal activity within a few days. Athletes and other people in good physical condition may return to athletic activities within a few weeks, under the care of their doctor.

Joints most frequently examined via arthroscopy

The joints most frequently examined using arthroscopy include the following:

  • Knee

  • Shoulder

  • Elbow

  • Ankle

  • Hip

  • Wrist

Conditions most frequently found with arthroscopy

The following are the conditions most frequently discovered during an arthroscopic procedure:

  • Inflammation, including in the synovium (the lining) of the knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist, or ankle)

  • Injuries, including the following:

    • Rotator cuff tendon tears, impingement syndrome, and recurrent dislocations in the shoulder

    • Meniscal (cartilage) tears, chondromalacia (wearing or injury of cartilage cushion), and anterior cruciate ligament tears with instability in the knee

    • Carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist

  • Pieces of loose bone and/or cartilage (particularly in the knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle, or wrist)

Always see your doctor for a treatment recommendation based on your individual condition.

Arthroscopy - WellSpan Health

Online Medical Reviewer: Ogiela, Dennis, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Ziegler, Olivia Walton, MS, PA-C
Last Review Date: 2015-11-04T00:00:00
Last Modified Date: 2015-12-15T00:00:00
Posting Date: 2008-11-30T00:00:00
Published Date: 2015-12-15T00:00:00
Last Review Date: 2007-03-30T00:00:00
© 2016 WellSpan Health. All Rights Reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

I would like to:

Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×