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What is an Arthroscope?

By August 11, 2015February 17th, 2022Exam Explanation

Here at Mark Miller, MD, we specialize in knee and shoulder arthroscopic surgery. The arthroscope is a telescopic instrument (narrower than a pen) that enables visualization and therapeutic treatment of the interior of a joint. An arthroscope consists of a magnifying-lens system (camera) sealed within a rigid tube.

How Does an Arthroscope Work?

For surgery, the arthroscope is put into the knee/shoulder joint through small incisions. Once the arthroscope is inserted, the lens system magnifies the inside of the joint by gathering light and focusing that light to form a real image that is viewed on a TV monitor.

Small instruments/tools, ranging from 3-5 millimeters, are inserted through the incisions to enable Dr. Miller 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 while accelerating the rehabilitation process.

What may be involved in knee arthroscopy:

  • Knee (patella)
  • Cartilage surfaces
  • Meniscus
  • Ligaments (ACL & PCL)
  • Joint lining

What may be involved in shoulder arthroscopy:

  • Ligaments
  • Rotator cuff
  • Biceps tendon
  • Joint lining
  • Cartilage surface

To learn more about arthroscopic surgery, check out our surgical videos and our surgical animations.

St. Louis Orthopedic Specialist

Mark Miller, MD is here to make your treatment and recovery go as smoothly as possible so you can get back to your normal activities. For the best knee and shoulder orthopedic care in St. Louis, contact us today!