Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.
Your Location is set to Change My Location
Cone Health wants to help you get well and stay well. This section provides tools and information to achieve good health and maintain your well-being.
Learn what community resources are available to help you get well and stay well.
View health and wellness news you can use from Cone Health providers on
View Advanced Search OptionsView All Doctors
View All Locations
Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > Arthroscopy for Rheumatoid Arthritis
a type of joint surgery in which a thin tube with a light source (called an
arthroscope) is inserted into the joint through a small incision (cut) in the
skin, allowing the doctor to see the inside of the joint. Instruments are
inserted through other small cuts to work on the joint. Surgery will not cure
rheumatoid arthritis or stop the disease's progress. But it may improve function and provide some pain relief.
Arthroscopy usually does not require an
overnight stay in the hospital. After the procedure, the joint should be used
as infrequently as possible for several days. Crutches may be needed if the
foot or knee joint was examined, depending on the extent of the procedure and
the doctor's preference.
This procedure is used for treatment
in large joints. Procedures done with arthroscopy include:
This procedure may not be appropriate if joint destruction
Arthroscopy temporarily relieves
pain and sometimes eases joint movement but does little to slow the progression
of the disease.footnote 1
Risks of arthroscopy include the risks of
surgery and using anesthetic and a slight risk of infection and bleeding within
Arthroscopy does little to change
the disease process. Recurrence of pain and other symptoms is
likely, but arthroscopy may provide temporary relief.
Complete the surgery information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you prepare for this surgery.
Ekwall AKH, Firestein GS (2014). Rheumatoid arthritis: Treatment. In EG Nabel et al., eds., Scientific American Medicine, chap. 1032. Hamilton, ON: BC Decker. https://www.deckerip.com/decker/scientific-american-medicine/chapter/1032/pdf. Accessed December 15, 2016.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal MedicineMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerNancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Current as ofOctober 10, 2017
Current as of:
October 10, 2017
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Nancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Subscribe to our Wellness Matters e-newsletter, a monthly snapshot of the some of great wellness content from Cone Health providers.