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Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

Risks

Possible complications of arthroscopic surgery include:

  • Accidental damage to cartilage or ligaments inside the joint

  • Excessive bleeding inside the joint

  • Accidental damage to nerves or blood vessels near the joint

  • Inflammation and formation of blood clots inside veins, most often in the leg

  • Joint infection

  • Breakage of a surgical instrument inside the joint

  • Allergic or other reaction to an anesthetic

Complications occur in very few arthroscopic surgeries. Overall, the risk of complications in arthroscopic surgery is much less than for conventional open surgery.

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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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