I had a cyst removed from my knee with an arthroscope. I was back to work the next day. I had the same kind of cyst in my elbow but had to have open surgery. Why can't they remove an elbow cyst with an arthroscope?

Shoulder, knee, and wrist cysts are often removed using an arthroscope. This tool is inserted into the joint with a small puncture wound. An open cut isn't needed. The arthroscope has a tiny TV camera on the end, which allows the surgeon to see inside the joint.

Arthroscopy is being used more now for elbow problems. Arthritis, bone chips, and other lesions can be treated this way. It takes more advanced skill to use the arthroscope in the elbow region. The doctor must be able to see and avoid damage to structures like the nerves and blood vessels.

Surgeons will operate on the elbow with arthroscopy more as technology and skill improve.