An arthroscope is the main instrument used for looking into the knee during keyhole surgery - ie arthroscopy.
Page updated December 2023 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)
What is an arthroscope?
An arthroscope is an instrument for looking inside a joint. Early arthroscopes had an eyepiece and the surgeon literally looked inside the joint space, but modern ones project an image onto a mounted monitor.
What are the components of an arthroscope?
Light is shone into the knee through the arthroscope, which has a small lens at the far end to angle the light beam. Fibre-optics relay the view to the monitor and an integral camera allows photography. A separate instrument via a separate portal supplies irrigation fluid under pressure to open up the space. Instuments may be passed into the joint via a third portal.
"...one of the greatest advances in orthopedic surgery of the 20th century....[a]rthroscopy has evolved from a diagnostic tool to a therapeutic tool capable of treating a wide range of injuries and disorders."
Citation: Treuting R. Minimally invasive orthopedic surgery: arthroscopy. Ochsner J. 2000 Jul;2(3):158-63. PMID: 21765685; PMCID: PMC3117522.