An arthroscopy is a type of keyhole surgery used both to diagnose and treat problems with joints.
It'smost commonly used on the knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows, wrists and hips.
An arthroscopy involves the use of a device called an arthroscope to examine the joints. This is a thin, metal tube about the length and width of a drinking straw that contains a light source and a camera. Images are sent from the arthroscope to a video screen or an eyepiece, so the surgeon is able to see inside the joint.
It's also possible for tiny surgical instruments to be used alongside an arthroscope to allow the surgeon to treat certain joint conditions.
As the equipment used during an arthroscopy is so small, only minor cuts need to be made in the skin. This means the procedure has some potential advantages over traditional, "open" surgery, including:
1. less pain after the operation
2. faster healing time
3. lower risk of infection
4. you can often go home the same day
5. you may be able to return to normal activities more quickly