The knee is a complicated joint made up of a ball sitting on shallow plateau. It is stable because of an intricate series of ligaments, capsular structures, and meniscal and articular cartilage. (see the anatomy of the knee) For many injuries or problems of the knee, a procedure called knee arthroscopy can be used.
Using small portals about the diameter of a pen, a small camera inserted into the joint allows for direct visualization of the bones, ligaments, meniscal cartilage, articular cartilage and other problems. Through accessory portals, instruments can be placed which allow for repair of injuries. Because an arthroscope uses small incisions which poke into the joint rather than cutting into the joint, recovery is often shorter and less painful than recovery from open surgery.