Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive technique used to evaluate the inside of a joint. Similar to joint surgery in people, it involves using a camera and instruments through small incisions (portals). Arthroscopy improves visualization inside the joint and greatly decreases the size of the incision, compared to the more traditional open techniques (arthrotomy). In small animals, arthroscopy can be used to treat multiple disorders affecting the knee (stifle joint), elbow, shoulder, and ankle (tarsus).

Cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL) tears are the most common orthopedic injuries in dogs. This condition results in knee joint instability. Frequently the meniscus becomes torn following a CrCL tear. If a meniscal tear is not properly identified at the time of surgery, pain and lameness will persist. Arthroscopy is the optimal method to evaluate the meniscus. It has been shown to be a more accurate and precise method of properly diagnosing meniscal tears and it offers the advantage of treating meniscal tears minimally invasively. This is the same technique used to treat people with a torn meniscus and ACL.

Arthroscopy is also the optimal technique to treat elbow, shoulder, and ankle disorders. Some examples include treatment of osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) lesions and removal of fragmented medial coronoid processes.

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