The History of Arthroscopy

The history of arthroscopic surgery begins in 1806 at the Rome Academy of Science where a device was created to look into the bladder. The next major development was in 1918, when Dr. Kenji Takagi from Tokyo used a cystoscope to examine patient knees. (Jackson 2010 91-103). After these advancements, a student of Takagi, Masaki Watanabe, published techniques and in 1958 he developed the first arthroscope that is similar to what surgeons use today. Dr. Robert Jackson from Toronto went to Tokyo for training and published the first English text in 1976 while also performing some of the first arthroscopic surgeries in North America. During this decade other developments in the technology, such as miniature television cameras and the use of fiber optic lighting further advanced the study and use of arthroscopic instruments. (Treuting 2000 158-163).

This is where the story ends. While modern arthroscopes have been updated to use modern technology and incorporate 4K imaging and HD cameras, there have not been any significant developments in the arthroscope itself. Until now.

Jackson, Robert W. “A History of Arthroscopy.” Arthroscopy: The Journal of Arthroscopic & Related Surgery, vol. 26, no. 1, 2010, pp. 91–103., doi:10.1016/j.arthro.2009.10.005.

Treuting, Robert. “Minimally Invasive Orthopedic Surgery: Arthroscopy.” The Ochsner Journal 2.3 (2000): 158–163. Print.

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