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Types of Arthroscopy Surgery - Knee, Shoulder and Ankle

Arthroscopy is a procedure used to examine and surgically repair the joints. This is a minimally invasive approach that is commonly performed by an Orthopedic surgeon. An arthroscopy can determine the extent of your joint injury and then repair or correct them. With this type of procedure, the course of treatment can be easily determined to perform corrective surgical procedures and can be also used to perform a biopsy.

Originally, arthroscopy was only used as a diagnostic tool for Orthopedic surgeons to plan for open surgery. However, with the development of new medical techniques, many conditions can now be treated using arthroscopic procedures. The surgeon can investigate a joint problem or an abnormality and will correct any damage using small instruments without making a large incision.

If you have tried interventional methods like medication, physical therapy, and other conservative methods of treatment, and you are still experiencing joint pain, you may be recommended for arthroscopy.

What to expect from this type of procedure?

A device called an arthroscope is a small, thin tube, with a miniature camera and a light found at the end or tip of this instrument. A small incision “about the size of a keyhole” will be made on the skin close to the joint to insert the arthroscope. The images from the inside of your joint will be shown through a monitoring system that lets a surgeon see the images from a video monitor.

Orthopedic surgeons will request for Arthroscopy often involving the following joint areas. In particular, when X-rays or other diagnostic procedures are inadequate.

  • shoulder
  • elbow
  • hand and wrist
  • hip
  • knee
  • foot and ankle

Benefits of arthroscopic surgery compared to conventional open surgery

Recovering from an arthroscopic procedure is usually faster than traditional open surgery. Although, it may take several weeks for the joint to recover. Depending on the joint area or severity of the damage, you will still be given anesthetics either general, spinal, or local anesthesia. Some of the common benefits of arthroscopic surgery:

  • less pain following the procedure
  • out-patient surgery option
  • shorter hospital stays
  • quicker recovery/help in faster recovery
  • lower risk of complications
  • less scarring

Conditions that are commonly diagnosed or treated with arthroscopic procedures

Some procedures can be performed with Arthroscopy or with a combination of open surgery. This will depend on the severity or damage to the joint area, your physician will discuss this option during your consultation.

Common arthroscopic procedures of the SHOULDER, ELBOW, and WRIST

  • Repair of tears in the shoulder tissue (shoulder dislocation)
  • Treating tennis elbow (or lateral epicondylitis)
  • Carpal tunnel release
  • Fracture repair
  • Rotator cuff repair
  • Impingement syndrome
  • Repair or resection of torn cartilage (meniscus) from the shoulder
  • Removal or reconstruction of the labrum
  • Removal of inflamed bursae
  • Removal of inflamed synovium in the shoulder, elbow, wrist
  • Repair of torn ligaments
  • Removal of inflamed tissue or loose cartilage
  • Nerve release
  • Cyst excision

Common arthroscopic procedures for the KNEE

  • Meniscal tear: Partial meniscectomy (removal of the meniscus), repair of a torn meniscus, or meniscus transplantation
  • Reconstruction of a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
  • Removal of inflamed synovial tissue 
  • Removal of the synovium in the knee
  • Trimming or reconstruction of damaged articular cartilage
  • Removal of loose fragments of bone or cartilage
  • Removal of synovial chondromatosis (commonly found in the knee)
  • Treatment of patella (kneecap) problems, or patella that’s out of position
  • Treatment of knee sepsis (infection)
  • Repair or resection of torn cartilage (meniscus) from the knee
  • Reconstructing a torn ligament with instability in the knee
  • Removal of a Baker’s (Popliteal) cyst

Common arthroscopic procedures in the feet and ankle

  • Repair of the Anterior ankle impingement (athlete's or footballer's ankle)
  • Repair of the Posterior ankle impingement
  • Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), also called osteochondral lesions
  • Ankle instability
  • Removal of inflamed tissue in the ankle joint or “Synovitis”
  • Ankle fractures
  • Ankle fusion for end-stage ankle arthritis
  • Removal of Infection in the joint spaces
  • Removal of loose bone or cartilage in the ankle


There may be pain and swelling in the area following your surgery which may last for several days. Pain medication and an anti-inflammatory drug may be given to you to relieve these symptoms.

At HMS Al Garhoud Hospital we make a personalized care plan for your surgery for better results. Our Orthopedic surgeons perform the latest planning technology in arthroplasty as an outpatient procedure. Your surgery can be done in the morning, then be home the same day for a more comfortable recovery.

We believe that our team of Doctors will provide you with the best medical care you need and deserve for your bone or joint problem. Our care is for patients like YOU to return back to your normal daily activity and doing the best things you love. Schedule an appointment with our highly experienced Orthopedic surgeons.

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