What is an Arthroscope?

By August 11, 2015 November 12th, 2019 Exam Explanation
Dr Mark Miller

The arthroscope is an instrument (narrower than a pen) that is put into the knee/shoulder joint through small incisions. A camera is attached to the arthroscope, and the image is viewed on a TV monitor. The arthroscope, for a KNEE arthroscopy, allows me to fully evaluate the entire knee joint, including the knee (patella), the cartilage surfaces, the meniscus, the ligaments (ACL & PCL) and the joint lining. For a SHOULDER arthroscopy, the arthroscope allows me to fully evaluate the entire shoulder joint, including the ligaments, the rotator cuff, the biceps tendon, the joint lining, and the cartilage surface. Small instruments ranging from 3-5 millimeters are inserted through the incisions to enable me to feel the joint structures for any damage, diagnose the injury and then repair, reconstruct or remove the damaged tissue. Before the development of arthroscopy, large incisions had to be made over the knee or shoulder joint to treat or diagnose injuries. Today’s arthroscopic techniques allow more complete evaluations of the knee and shoulder joint while accelerating the rehabilitation process. Check out our surgical animations/videos or our patient guides  for more details.