Arthroscopic Joint Surgery

Veterinary Joint Surgery at PetCare Veterinary Hospital


  • Arthroscopic surgery is joint surgery performed using a small scope and various instruments inserted through small incisions to visualize and manipulate tissue within a joint.
  • Arthroscopes and instrument diameters typically range from 1.5mm to 3.5mm.


  • Arthroscopy has the benefit of being less invasive than traditional surgery and is less painful, carrying fewer risks associated with post-operative healing.
  • Arthroscopic surgery has the advantage of visualizing joint structures under magnification, which provides the surgeon with an improved ability to discern subtle changes in diseased tissue.
  • Incisions are very small and the use of post-operative antibiotics or an Elizabethan collar is not required.

Arthroscopic Procedures

  • Procedures that are exclusively performed arthroscopically include
    • Diagnosis and treatment for elbow dysplasia
    • Diagnosis and treatment of rotator cuff injury
  • Arthroscopic surgery may also be used as an adjunct to surgeries involving the wrist, ankle, knee, and hip joints.
  • To date, arthroscopic procedures have been limited to dogs but may include cats sometime in the future.

Post-Operative Recovery

  • Most dogs will spend 1 night in the hospital and are walking at discharge the following day.
  • Although surgery is minimally invasive and incisions are small, healing inside the joint still requires a gradual recovery over 46 weeks of reduced activity followed by 46 weeks of leash walks.


  • Outcome is typically based upon the severity and type of disease being treated.
  • Due to improved visualization and assessment of tissue in combination with unprecedented access to joint surfaces, arthroscopically treated problems often exceed the results achieved through more traditional methods.
  • Arthroscopy is an exciting and powerful method of performing surgery and new procedures are being developed for the future.

If you have questions about arthroscopic surgery for your pet, you can schedule a consultation with Dr. Kent Talcott by calling (707) 579-3900.