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  ON the right side is shown a schematic diagram of the right knee showing the semilunar cartilages and the cruciate and collateral ligaments

The important ligaments are color coded as under
Yellow Collateral ligaments
Red Anterior cruciate
Blue Posterior cruciate
Pink Meniscal cartilages
Green Patellar tendon

An Arthroscope is a small high precision telescope with highly sophisticated lenses and fibreoptics, which is used to get a real time image of the inside of the joints of the human body.

Professor Takagi of Tokyo is credited with using the first arthroscope on a Cadaver knee in 1918. Further developments were slow till 1960’s , when it’s use in North America skyrocketed. Developments in technology were rapid in the late 20th century and today’s arthroscope is a very capable device providing a razor sharp picture of the inside of the joint on a TV monitor.

The schematic diagram on the left shows how an arthroscope (grey colour) has been put inside the knee through a small (3-4 mms) stab hole. The meniscal cartilages are shown in pink, and the torn piece of the lateral (outer) meniscus ( shown in dark pink) is being removed by a special scissors inserted through another small stab hole.

The commonest thing to go wrong inside the knee is a tear of the meniscal or semilunar cartilage. The inner (medial) cartilage is the most common to get torn and can cause a locked knee where the patient is unable to completely straighten the knee. The outer or the lateral cartilage is torn less commonly.

Only the torn part of the semilunar cartilages is cut away, the rest being preserved. It is now well recognised that the semilunar cartilages are very important in preventing the early onset of osteoarthritis and if the tear is involving the whole of the cartilage, it is possible to repair the cartilage with a special anchor in certain cases.

All information on website are for educational purposes only and provided as a service to the community. In no way should anything here be construed as medical advice. For medical advice consult your own physician who alone, after an appropriate physical examination, can give you appropriate advice about your medical condition. Comments are welcome.