What Arthroscopy Surgery Involves and Its Purpose

What Is Arthroscopy Surgery and Why It Is Done?

What Is Arthroscopy Surgery and Why It Is Done?

Injuries are an inevitable part of an active lifestyle, particularly for those involved in sports or athletics. However, maintaining peak performance despite injuries is crucial for athletes. Joint pain and wear-and-tear are common occurrences among athletes, necessitating prompt treatment. While minor discomfort can often be managed with over-the-counter medications and topical ointments, significant injuries may require surgical intervention. Today, many individuals opt for minimally invasive procedures such as arthroscopy.

Arthroscopy is a surgical technique used to diagnose and treat joint problems, primarily in the knees. Dr. Ankit Varshney, Senior Consultant Orthopaedics specializing in Arthroscopy, Sports Medicine, and Shoulder surgery at Sant Parmanand Special Surgery Hospital in New Delhi, sheds light on the intricacies of arthroscopic surgery, its procedural details, and its effectiveness in addressing knee joint-related issues.

What is arthroscopy surgery

Arthroscopic surgery, also known as arthroscopy, is an exclusive medical procedure performed by orthopedic surgeons. It serves the purpose of analyzing joints, pinpointing issues, and providing treatment. This minimally invasive technique has evolved to effectively address joint damage, offering patients advantages such as shorter hospital stays, faster recovery periods, and minimal scarring. Arthroscopic surgery caters to a wide range of patients, aiding in their recovery and rehabilitation, whether it’s for ankles, wrists, knees, or shoulders.

Arthroscopic knee surgery procedure

If you’re curious about how arthroscopic surgery is conducted in a minimally invasive manner, making it safer for individuals who prefer to avoid large surgical incisions, here’s a step-by-step explanation provided by Dr. Varshney:

  • The orthopedic specialist makes small incisions near the problematic joint, typically around 1/4 inch in diameter, for the arthroscopic surgery procedure.
  • A sterile fluid is then injected into one of the incisions, which helps inflate the joint, providing a clearer view and more space to work.
  •  Next, the surgeon inserts a small tube containing fiber optics and lenses into one of the incisions. This tube, called an arthroscope, is connected to a video camera, enabling the interior of the joint, including ligaments and cartilage, to be magnified and displayed on a television screen.
  • Arthroscopes come in various sizes, depending on the joint being examined. For example, the arthroscope used for knee arthroscopy is typically around 5 mm in diameter, while for a wrist, it could be as small as 0.5 mm in diameter.
  • The video screen allows the surgeon to observe the internal structures beneath the skin.
  • If the arthroscopy is performed to diagnose a problem, the incisions are closed with either absorbable or non-absorbable sutures once the surgeon has identified the cause of the issue.
  •  If the procedure is aimed at treating a diagnosed problem, specialized instruments are inserted through the incisions to address the issue. These instruments range from anchoring sutures to bone to performing knot tying, each tailored for specific tasks.
  • Once the surgical procedure is completed, the surgeon closes the incisions with sutures.

This minimally invasive approach offers several advantages, including reduced post-operative pain, faster recovery times, and smaller scars compared to traditional open surgery.

<img alt="Arthroscopic knee surgery procedure" src="//images.onlymyhealth.com/imported/images/2022/April/11_Apr_2022/inside2_arthroscopicsurgery.jpg">

Arthroscopy benefits

Arthroscopic surgery offers significant advantages, primarily because it eliminates the need for fully opening up the joint. Instead, the surgeon makes small incisions to access and address the underlying issue efficiently.

Arthroscopy is commonly utilized to treat various joint conditions, including knee osteoarthritis, meniscal tears, hip, shoulder, wrist, spine, and temporomandibular joint problems. The procedure is favored for several reasons:

  •  Smaller scars and incisions result in less visible scarring and reduced tissue trauma.
  • Minimal blood loss during surgery contributes to a quicker recovery period.
  • Reduced risk of infection due to the smaller incisions and decreased exposure of internal tissues.
  • Less discomfort experienced by patients, leading to a decreased need for pain medication post-surgery.
  • Many arthroscopic procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis, allowing patients to return home on the same day.
  • The convenience of outpatient settings enables streamlined and efficient treatment delivery.

Overall, arthroscopic surgery offers numerous benefits, making it a preferred choice for addressing joint-related issues while minimizing patient discomfort and recovery time.


Arthroscopic surgery is versatile in addressing a range of joint-related issues, including inflammation, damaged ligaments and tendons, loose bone or cartilage, and certain diseases. It serves as both a diagnostic and therapeutic tool, capable of identifying and treating various joint problems effectively. While knee and shoulder arthroscopies are most common, this minimally invasive procedure can be performed on virtually any joint in the body. Therefore, patients experiencing joint issues have a high likelihood of finding relief through arthroscopic surgery.