In arthroscopy, the inside of a joint is inspected with a viewing instrument called an arthroscope. The procedure is most commonly used to inspect the inside of the knee joint and to treat disorders such as a damaged cartilage. It is usually performed under general anaesthesia. The arthroscope is inserted into the joint through a small incision in the skin. Surgical instruments can then be passed down through the arthroscope or through the incisions. During the examination, the surgeon can remove or repair tissue, such as damaged cartilage, or shave the surface of the patella (kneecap).
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.