The Women's Health Resource. On the web since 1997.

Arthroscopic Surgery

Arthoscopic image in the knee
Arthroscopic probing of the knee (posterior horn complex meniscal tear with multiple flaps)
(image courtesy of Orthopedic Associates of Portland:

Arthroscopy is now used by surgeons to guide the insertion of tiny surgical instruments into a joint, for example the knee, to repair torn structures without requiring open surgery. Arthroscopic surgery is a less invasive method than open surgery to repair torn cartilage, tendons and ligaments in damaged joints. Many procedures that formerly necessitated opening up the knee can now be performed with arthroscopic surgery. Such procedures include:

  • removal of damaged cartilage
  • repair of torn cartilage and ligaments
  • shaving or drilling the surface of the patella (kneecap)

Arthroscopic surgery significantly reduces the time a patient needs to stay in the hospital. Patients also recover from minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery much quicker than open orthopedic surgery. For professional athletes, this means a much faster return to the playing field. For weekend warriors and people who sustain other joint injuries, arthroscopic surgery means getting "back on your feet" much sooner.

Visit the Orthopaedic Associates of Portland website to view their excellent pages on "Treatment of Meniscal Tears: Arthroscopic Surgery". You will find a thorough explanation of arthroscopic surgery with anatomical figures and arthroscopic images of meniscal tears "before and after" arthroscopic surgery. (

Updated: November 2, 2007

What Patients Should Expect Before, During and After Arthroscopy