Health A-Z

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Harvard Medical School

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What It's Used For

You doctor may recommend arthroscopic surgery for one or more of the following:

  • To remove small bits of bone or cartilage that are floating in the joint space

  • To repair or remove torn ligaments

  • To remove damaged cartilage

  • To remove inflamed joint lining (synovium)

  • To reattach a bone fragment that has broken off the end of a bone and is in a joint

  • To transplant cartilage (usually limited to knees with limited cartilage injury)

  • To drain fluid from an infected joint

  • To look at the joint directly

  • To take a sample of joint tissue when the cause of knee symptoms is not clear

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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