(From Greek: arthros, "joint" + skopein, "to look")
Surgical procedure used to examine the interior of a joint. The orthopaedic surgeon carrying out the procedure makes a small incision and inserts narrow (pencil-sized) instruments containing a lens and lighting arrangement. This allows him to look inside the joint, hence the name.
The lens is usually connected to a closed-circuit television camera, allowing the surgeon (and others) to view inside the joint. The advantages of arthroscopic examination are obvious - a more invasive exploratory surgical procedure is avoided.