DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
Arthroscopy (ahr-THROS-skuh-pee) is a procedure for diagnosing and treating joint problems. During arthroscopy, a surgeon inserts a narrow tube containing a fiber-optic video camera through a small incision — about the size of a buttonhole. The view inside your joint is transmitted to a video monitor.
Arthroscopy allows the surgeon to see inside your joint without having to make a large incision. Surgeons can even repair some types of joint damage during arthroscopy, with pencil-thin surgical instruments inserted through additional small incisions.
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