Arthroscopy is a less invasive procedure used to examine a joint through a small incision using a scope and camera. Arthroscopy can be performed on the shoulder, elbow, hip, stifle, and in some cases, the carpus and tarsus.


Arthroscopy can be used to diagnose and treat multiple conditions of the joints mentioned above. A few examples of conditions treated with arthroscopy include osteochondritis dissecans, fragmented medial coronoid process, shoulder instability, bicep tendon injuries, and meniscal tears.

Postoperative Care

Pain medication is generally only required for the first 5 to 7 days following surgery. Give pain medication only as prescribed and do not give human drugs without first consulting with a veterinarian.

In some cases, a bandage may be placed on your pet’s leg after the surgery. The bandage on your pet’s leg is a soft, padded bandage that controls swelling and provides some support in the early postoperative time. It is not designed to allow running or jumping. The bandage should be checked and/or changed as soon as possible if any of the following are noticed:

  • Swelling of the toes occurs
  • Bandage becomes wet or soiled
  • Bandage has slipped
  • Your pet is chewing at the bandage

If your pet has a tendency to chew, then he/she may need an Elizabethan collar designed to prevent chewing. Bandage removal is usually advised three to five days after surgery, but in some cases it may be left on until the time of suture removal.

Please confine your pet to a quiet, clean area for approximately six weeks following surgery. Short leash walks are acceptable but no running, jumping, or playing with other pets should be allowed.

Please schedule an appointment for suture removal 7 to 14 days after surgery. In addition, please contact us immediately if problems occur with the bandage, if an increase in lameness is noted, or if the incision becomes red, swollen, or has drainage.


The prognosis for cases undergoing arthroscopy depends on the underlying medical condition. Potential complications of an arthroscopy may include incision problems, joint infections, and seroma formation.

Your pet’s recovery and well-being are our primary concerns, so please do not hesitate to call and speak with a surgical technician or surgeon if there are any questions regarding your pet’s recovery.