By: 1 March 2007


Arthroscope is a term that comes from two Greek words, arthro- meaning joint, and -skopein, meaning to examine. Arthroscopy refers to examination of the inside of a joint with an arthroscope.

Not long ago, before arthroscopy came into its own, orthopaedic surgery involved major incisions to expose and treat joint pathology, followed by a prolonged and painful rehabilitation needed to recover from the trauma due to pathology compounded by the pain from the surgical procedure itself. Smaller incisions, contrary to popular belief may be minimally invasive but are not necessarily minimally traumatic. Arthroscopy is the exception, a minimally access surgical procedure, not only allowing excellent visualization with minimal soft tissue trauma but also giving the surgeon the advantage of tackling almost everything through camera. The real winner is the patient.

Historical Aspects

Arthroscopy has a most interesting history of evolution. Medical endoscopy has been described as early as the 1800s. Bozzini, in 1806, presented his “Lichtleiter” to the Rome Academy of Medicine. Unfortunately, it was scorned by that scientific body and very little progress was made until 1853 when A.I. D