Arthroscopes are visualization instruments that allow for minimally invasive joint surgeries by enabling the surgeon to see into the joint. In this chapter, the video cameras in the arthroscopes are not included or discussed. The types of procedures that are typically performed with arthroscopes include joint debridement, microfracture repair, ligament reconstruction and diagnostic imaging. The first generation of arthroscopes utilized a variant of miniature-camera technology that was adapted for medical applications. The later adoption of fiber-optic technology in medicine allowed for arthroscopes to become smaller and more efficient.
The full report suite on the U.S. market for arthroscopic devices includes arthroscopes, disposable cannulas, hand instruments, fluid management disposables, shaver blades, radiofrequency (RF) probes, drill guide systems and disposables and suture passers. Power instruments are covered in an appendix.