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Advances in arthroscopic surgery: indications and outcomes

Katz, Jeffrey Na,b,c; Gomoll, Andreas Ha

Current Opinion in Rheumatology: March 2007 - Volume 19 - Issue 2 - p 106–110
doi: 10.1097/BOR.0b013e3280142f03
Epidemiology and health-related services

Purpose of review To examine recent trends in the use of arthroscopic surgical techniques to address musculoskeletal problems. The review is particularly timely given the rapidly expanding range of indications for diagnostic and therapeutic arthroscopic procedures involving virtually every peripheral joint.

Recent findings We focus on arthroscopic approaches to problems of the hip, wrist, elbow and ankle. Hip arthroscopy is permitting novel, minimally invasive approaches to the management of femoral acetabular impingement, labral tears, loose bodies and chondral lesions. Wrist arthroscopy has provided novel approaches to ligament tears, synovitis and fractures. Ankle arthroscopy has been especially helpful with soft tissue impingement syndromes, synovitis and fracture. Elbow arthroscopy has been especially helpful in the management of synovitis and osteoarthritis due to osteophytosis. Complications of arthroscopic procedures occur very rarely. Virtually all the literature on arthroscopy outcomes comes from small uncontrolled studies.

Summary Arthroscopy provides a safe alternative to arthrotomy in the management of a wide range of clinical problems. The generally weak designs of studies performed to date compromises the strength of recommendations that can be made about the role of these procedures in clinical practice.

aDepartment of Orthopedic Surgery

bDivision of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy

cOrthopedic and Arthritis Center for Outcomes Research, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA

Correspondence to Jeffrey N. Katz, MD, MSc, Orthopedic and Arthritis Center for Outcomes Research, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street, B3, Boston, MA 02115, USA Tel: +1 617 732 5356; e-mail:

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.