Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Elbow FAQ


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.

Joseph Mileti MD, et al. Radial Tunnel Syndrome Caused By Ganglion Cyst: Treatment By Arthroscopic Cyst Decompression. In Arthroscopy. May/June 2004. Vol. 20. No. 5. Pp. E39-46.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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