The evolution of surgical arthroscopy in Israel and worldwide

Barak Haviv, Shlomo Bronak, Rafael Thein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Arthroscopy is a minimal invasive surgical technique to treat joint disorders with the use of fiber optics for indirect vision and small surgical tools. The first endoscopic direct inspection of the knee joint was documented at the beginning of the 20th century; however, the clinical practice of arthroscopy started only fifty years later. The "historical fathers" of surgical arthroscopy were Kenji Takagi from Japan and Eugen Bircher from Switzerland. The arthroscopes had become safer and more dependable since the 1970's with the introduction of fiber optics, while vision became easier with the invention of television. Subsequently, in the 1980's and 90's instruments were refined and arthroscopy evolved from a diagnostic to a therapeutic tool with the advantages of minimal approach, few complications and short rehabilitation. The beginning of knee arthroscopy in Israel followed the development in North America in the1970's. Within a few years, knee arthroscopy in Israel had also evolved to be therapeutic rather than diagnostic and was specifically used for partial meniscectomies. Currently, arthroscopic surgery, particularly of the knee and shoulder, has become common practice worldwide. Arthroscopic procedures constitute more than a third of all orthopedic procedures performed at the Israeli Assuta private hospitals. With the development of various technologies, it is anticipated that arthroscopic techniques will further evolve and play an ever greater role in diagnosing and treating joint pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-9, 278
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2015


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