Arthroscopy: What is it? How it is performed? Benefits, Advantages, Complications and Recovery

It is known as a surgical intervention performed by orthopedic specialists to treat and improve existing problems in the joints.

This surgical method is performed through a small incision in the skin of the affected area, then an instrument that is about the size of a pencil is introduced, where in the front is a small lens with a lighting system.

This lighting system allows you to magnify and illuminate everything you get in your way, especially the internal structures of the joints that are defective or damaged.

This tool transmits through an optical fiber everything that focuses to the arthroscope that is placed in the joint.

The treating doctor projects the images captured by this device to a television for greater comfort, observation and precision. Usually this procedure is performed to diagnose a condition in the knees.

With this type of surgical method you can see the ligaments, cartilage and even below the patella. With this evaluation you can determine the condition and then correct it if necessary.

How is arthroscopy performed?

This type of minimally invasive procedure should be performed on an outpatient basis and with local anesthesia. In general, depending on the patient, the intervention usually does not last more than 3 hours, even in many cases the time is shorter.

The incisions are the size of an eyelet, usually they make one to insert the arthroscope and another to place another instrument that requires surgery or to explore another area of ​​the joint.

Thanks to the evolution of surgical tools and techniques, Arthroscopy is no longer used only to diagnose conditions that other tests can not determine, but also to treat or eliminate anomalies such as corrective surgery.

A notorious example is the intervention with Arthroscopy to fix the meniscus tears of the knees.


Arthroscopy is a very important surgical intervention to diagnose joint diseases or serious injuries that may be counterproductive for the affected.

The treating physician must carry out a complete medical history before assessing whether the patient has presented traumas, past conditions, if a family member suffers or suffered from any congenital anomaly or syndromes linked to the joints.

The next step is a physical examination and x-rays, as well as magnetic resonance imaging and CT scans.

Advantages of an Arthroscopy

It is an extremely important resource for athletes or athletes of various categories and for orthopedic patients being an advantage to be performed on an outpatient basis, which implies returning to their homes without many complications and also avoiding open surgery.

Possible complications

Certain complications occur occasionally in an intervention such as Arthroscopy. However, internal bleeding may occur or blood vessels or nerves may be injured in the area of ​​surgery.

Most often, although there have been few cases of infections after surgical practice, phlebitis can also occur , which is nothing more than blood clotting in a vein.

Another condition that may occur after the intervention but does not represent a greater risk to the patient’s health is an inflammation in the operated area.

Recovery process of an Arthroscopy

They are small incision wounds but their recovery usually takes several days to heal. To prevent an infection, a surgical bandage should be placed, then the next day remove the bandages, clean the area of ​​intervention and put adhesive strips to cover the wounds.

This process must be repeated every day for an optimal recovery.

Depending on the magnitude of the wounds caused by the puncture of the Arthroscopy method, the joint usually takes several weeks to recover completely, even the treating physician can recommend rehabilitation to ensure that the recovery is successful and prevent future complications.

However, being a minimally invasive surgery, the patient can return to their daily routine in a few days, even in the case of athletes and athletes, their physical condition allows them to resume their training or daily activities in a few weeks.

But all this will depend on the condition presented by the person treated and the diagnosis thrown by Arthroscopy.