Arthroscopy or Arthroscopic Surgery is a minimally invasive operation on a joint, usually performed under general or local anesthetic, lasting between 15 minutes and two hours, and usually within the day hospital framework. Nevertheless, despite the relative simplicity of the surgery, recuperation can take a few months, depending on the severity of the injury and the particular treatment. In most cases, we will refer the patient to a physiotherapist as part of the recovery process.

As in any minimally invasive surgery, small cuts are made at the sides of the joint, through which a mini camera is inserted to project the inside of the joint onto a screen. Surgical instruments are also inserted, for cutting or fusion purposes, or for any other need. The procedure allows for the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of joints injuries.

Advantages of Arthroscopy
Before Arthroscopy, all joints surgery was performed using the classic open approach. The minimally invasive approach has undoubted advantages over the fully open method:
•    Smaller cuts
•    Lesser risk of infection
•    Less pain
•    Faster recovery and return to normal activities
•    Lesser risk of unwanted injury to neighboring tissue (nerves, blood vessels, muscles)
•    Fewer days in hospital
•    Low rate of complications
•    Diagnostic accuracy because we can access the whole inside of the joint

Complications
Despite the reduced incidence of side effects compared to open surgery, Arthroscopy was and still is an invasive process that can cause complications. These are not common and generally minor, and they are largely avoidable by good pre-operation planning.

The most common complication during the operation is when the equipment damages the cartilage, either due to a firm joint or a lengthy and difficult operation. It is also possible – although much less common – to damage other parts of the joint such as nerves or large blood vessels. One such relatively common complication is bloody fluid in the joint and – just like any operation – there could be an infection, although chances of that are lower than 1%. The risk of thrombosis or embolus (blocks in the bloodstream) are also very low.

Knee Joint Arthroscopy
Before the development of Arthroscopy, the standard treatment for a torn meniscus was removal, on the assumption it would lead to renewed growth. Of course this assumption was proven wrong, and it was discovered that partial removal using Arthroscopy could lead to improved clinical results and to reduced erosion of the joint in the future. Today it is the most common operation in surgical orthopedics.
Knee Arthroscopy is also used to remove loose bodies, repair early cartilage damage, treat infections and diseases of the inside of the joint, remove tumors, and more.
Click here to watch an explanation about correcting the ACL by arthroscopy
Click here to watch an explanation about correcting the meniscus by arthroscopy


Shoulder Joint Arthroscopy
The shoulder is the second most common joint treated through Arthroscopy. Throughout the 20th century, operations to stabilize the joint or to treat tendon problems were performed using the classic open surgery method. With the development of minimally-invasive surgeries, attempts were made to apply Arthroscopy to the shoulder joint as well. However, due to the more complicated anatomy of the joint, it took a while for the procedure to become standard practice.
The shoulder is surrounded by many muscles which make it harder to feel the bones of the joint. Access to the joint passes close to nerves and to central blood vessels. Despite this, the arthroscopic procedure has contributed greatly to understanding the pathology of the joint and has gradually become the default treatment procedure, producing results very similar to the classic operation. 
Click here to watch an explanation about correcting tears in the shoulder labrum by arthroscopy
Click here to watch an explanation about correcting the rotator cuff by arthroscopy


Ankle Joint Arthroscopy
Ankle joint problems can also be treated via arthroscopic methods. Currently, most of the arthroscopic treatments for the ankle joint are performed to treat osteochondritis dissecans (when small shards of bone and cartilage break loose and cause pain, swelling, and limit mobility), or ankle impingement syndromes. Having said that, we can also employ Arthroscopy to treat degenerative ankle diseases, cut protuberances, release the Achilles heel following trauma, and in other situations.

Hip Joint Arthroscopy
The hip joint is particularly difficult to access using Arthroscopy, because it is deep, stable and firm. Nevertheless, in recent years there has been an increase in the number of arthroscopic operations in this area. The most common reasons to operate are tears in the labrum (rubbery tissue), removing a loose body from the joint, infection, cartilage damage, or assessing pain in the joint.