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)

Surgeon with arthroscope in one hand and fluid irrigation inlet in the other. These are inserted via small 'portals'. 


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.

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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.

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Peer-reviewed papers

  • Quote:

    " 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.

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Dr Sheila Strover (Editor)
BSc (Hons), MB BCh, MBA

See biography...


Relevant material -

Mr Angus Strover2008 - Diagnostic Arthroscopy - by Dr (Mr) Angus Strover (Retired Knee Surgeon)