Elbow arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that can be performed in place of an open operation for certain conditions. Small incisions are made around the joint to allow long, narrow instruments into the joint to visualize the bones, cartilage, ligaments, and synovium. The benefits of arthroscopy include less trauma to the soft tissues of the affected body part, faster recovery, earlier return to work or play, and possibly less pain. However, there are risks, and these include possible infection, injury to the nerves of the arm that could lead to permanent numbness or loss of motion, and still the need for open surgery if the arthroscopic procedure is unsuccessful. It is important to discuss with Dr. Yu whether or not arthroscopy is appropriate for your elbow condition, and to fully understand the risks involved. While the risks are small, they do exist.