Arthroscopy: An Effective Surgery Technique For Dogs And Cats

Treat Pets Fractured Joints with Arthroscopy

Like us, pets suffer from a variety of orthopedic problems. Just as in human medicine, veterinary medicine has methods and treatments that can improve the lives of pets suffering from mobility problems and injuries. This is why arthroscopy surgery is such an attractive treatment option for pets. Because of its effectiveness and low risk, this technique is gaining in popularity in both human and veterinary medicine.

What Is Arthroscopy Surgery In Veterinary Medicine?

In medicine, veterinary arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure used to diagnose and treat common joint diseases in companion animals, particularly dogs. Arthroscopy surgery results in faster recovery, fewer post-operative complications, and less post-operative pain.

This highly effective procedure involves making a small incision in or near the joint and inserting a camera (arthroscope). The camera examines the joint and removes problematic tissues such as a torn meniscus or bone fragments.

Our veterinary orthopedic surgeons are trained and qualified to perform arthroscopic cat surgery n. Before the operation, your pet will be given the necessary general anesthetic to ensure they are comfortable and relaxed during the procedure.

After the operation, you will know the essential steps to ensure your pet's rapid and smooth recovery. We'll explain how to keep your dog's incision site clean and safe and how to watch for signs and symptoms of infection.

Benefits For Your Pet

Accurate Diagnosis:

Arthroscopy surgery enables the veterinarian to observe the affected joint with clarity and detail, facilitating accurate diagnosis of conditions such as joint instability, cartilage damage, and ligament rupture. This enables targeted treatment to be planned and better results to be achieved for our four-legged friends.

Minimally Invasive:

Compared to traditional open surgery, veterinary arthroscopy is a minimally invasive approach less stressful on surrounding tissues. 

Smaller incisions mean less pain and discomfort for the animal and a reduced risk of complications such as infection and bleeding.

Faster Recovery:

Pets undergoing veterinary arthroscopy surgery recover more quickly. This means they can return to an active, playful life more quickly, with minimal impact on their daily routine and overall quality of life.

Targeted Treatment: 

Arthroscopy for dogs enables targeted treatment of specific joint problems. Veterinarians can precisely repair, reconstruct and remove debris, resulting in better outcomes for your pet.

Fewer Complications: 

Small incisions and minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery are safer for your pet, reducing the risk of complications such as infection, bleeding, and post-operative pain.

Experience And Success:

Arthroscopic surgery requires specialized training and experience from veterinary surgeons. Fortunately, as veterinary medicine advances, more and more vets are acquiring the skills required for this technique. 

Arthroscopic surgery is becoming more popular and affordable, enabling our pets to receive the best possible care.

Diseases Treated By Arthroscopy 

Cruciate Ligament Tears

Knee ligament tears are common in dogs and cats, causing severe pain and lameness. During veterinary arthroscopy, surgeons can repair or reconstruct damaged ligaments to restore joint stability and ensure complete healing.

Waxing Joints

The arthroscopy procedure is particularly effective when joints are damaged by cartilage fragments or debris. Surgeons can remove these fragments using special instruments to improve joint function and reduce inflammation.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a condition characterized by abnormal hip joint formation, which can severely affect an animal's mobility and quality of life. 

Arthroscopy assesses the degree of dysplasia and performs corrective procedures such as a femoral head osteotomy (FHO) or capsular contracture.

Why Choose Arthroscopy Surgery Rather Than Open Surgery?

  • The arthroscopy procedure is a minimally invasive technique. 
  • It is more efficient than open surgery because only tiny incisions are made.
  • Diagnosis is more precise because an experienced Martian can see the joint. 
  • There is less blood loss than open surgery. 
  • The healing process is faster.
  • Moreover, incisions after arthroscopic surgery are minor and disappear within a few months. 
  • In contrast, scars after open surgery are more prominent and visible and take several years to disappear completely. 

Therefore, open shoulder and knee surgery is less traumatic for dogs and cats and carries less risk of complications. Unfortunately, dogs and cats do not tolerate open surgery well. And in case your pet is going through Cranial Cruciate Ligament problems, then the veterinarian will suggest the Tibial Tuberosity Advancement Surgery

Arthroscopy Risks And Complications

1. Infection: 

Although arthroscopy surgery is considered a minimally invasive procedure, there is a disease risk at the incision site. Strict aseptic technique and appropriate post-operative care can help reduce this risk. Additional treatment, such as antibiotics and wound care, may be required in the event of infection.

2. Bleeding: 

Arthroscopic surgery reduces the risk of excessive bleeding compared with open surgery, but there is always a risk of bleeding during and after the operation. The surgeon will closely monitor bleeding and take all necessary measures to control it. In rare cases, additional surgery or blood transfusions may be required.

3. Damage To Nerves And Blood Vessels: 

A small part of the risk of arthroscopy surgery is accidental damage to nerves and blood vessels near the joint. Experienced surgeons take precautions to minimize these risks, but in rare cases, nerves and blood vessels may be damaged, leading to temporary or permanent complications.

4. Fluid Retention: 

Following arthroscopy, some animals accumulate fluid around the joints, causing swelling and discomfort. Draining the fluid build-up or using compression bandages can alleviate this problem.

5. Joint Stiffness And Instability:

This short-term complication can usually be resolved with appropriate rehabilitation and physiotherapy. 

However, owners must follow their veterinarian's instructions on post-operative care to ensure optimal joint recovery.

6. Allergic Reactions: 

In rare cases, pets may present allergic reactions to drugs, anesthetics, or materials used in arthroscopic surgery. 

The veterinary surgeon will carefully check that the animal is not allergic and select the appropriate medicines and materials to minimize this risk.

7. Complications Associated With Anesthesia. 

Advances in anesthesia protocols and monitoring have considerably reduced these risks, but there is still a slight possibility of complications, such as side effects and respiratory and cardiovascular problems.

Although complications can occur during arthroscopy, it is essential to note that they are generally rare, primarily when performed by a qualified and experienced veterinary surgeon. Professional veterinarians take precautions during and after the operation and monitor the animal closely to ensure the best possible outcome. Owners should report any concerns or unusual symptoms to their veterinarian immediately so that appropriate investigations and treatment can be implemented.

Recovery From Arthroscopy Surgery

Expected Recovery Time

Recovery time after arthroscopic surgery depends on the procedure performed, the animal's general state of health, and the extent of joint disease.

In general, recovery time after arthroscopic surgery is shorter than that of conventional open surgery due to the procedure's minimally invasive nature. However, it should be noted that each case is unique, and each animal reacts differently.

For most animals, the initial recovery period after arthroscopic surgery is typically a few days to two weeks. During this period, discomfort, swelling, and limitation of movement may occur. Painkillers prescribed by your veterinary surgeon can help relieve discomfort during this period.

After the initial convalescence period, gradual improvement can be expected as the animal becomes more supple and active. The total recovery period can range from a few weeks to several months, depending on the severity of the joint disease and the specific rehabilitation program.


Rehabilitation plays a vital role in the recovery process after arthroscopic surgery. Rehabilitation aims to optimize joint function and improve muscle strength and general mobility. 

Rehabilitation programs depend on the specific common disease, age, and general state of animal health. Some important aspects of rehabilitation are discussed below:

Controlled Movement

Your veterinarian or veterinary rehabilitation specialist will advise you on the appropriate exercise for your pet. 

This may include activity limitation, controlled walks on a leash, or the gradual introduction of more strenuous exercise as your pet's condition improves.


Physiotherapy, such as mobility, therapeutic, and hydrotherapy, is recommended to improve joint mobility, muscle strength, and flexibility. 

These treatments are often tailored to the animal's specific needs and may require the intervention of a specialist.


Arthroscopic surgery is the most reliable surgical procedure for treating knee, shoulder, and elbow injuries in dogs and cats, as these animals cannot tolerate open surgery. 
If your pet develops a fever, pain, severe swelling, numbness, tingling, or oozing foul-smelling fluid, don't wait too long to visit the vet. Always turn to a reputable veterinarian to guarantee your pet an effective, trauma-free surgical procedure.