by Dr. Michael Snedden

A minimally invasive procedure, arthroscopic surgery, or arthroscopy is frequently employed in sports medicine and the treatment of inflammatory, infectious, and degenerative joint diseases. A combination of the Greek words for “joint” and “to look,” the first arthroscopies were performed almost 100 years ago. However, the procedure did not become commonplace until the advent of closed-circuit television and fiber optic camera technologies in the 1980s.

In an arthroscopy, an orthopaedic surgeon creates a small incision in the skin through which he or she inserts a thin tube. This tube contains a tiny camera and fiber optic cable, as well as a light source to illuminate the interior of the body. Modern arthroscopes can be inserted into virtually any joint in the body, although they are most commonly used for the knees, shoulders, hips, and wrists. Initially, arthroscopy was employed exclusively as a diagnostic tool. Following injury or disease, an orthopaedic surgeon would conduct examinations with x-ray or magnetic resonance imaging technology. Subsequently, an arthroscopy would be performed to verify the best surgical course of treatment.

Today, arthroscopic technology has advanced to the point that many surgeries can be performed entirely arthroscopically. Generally, the patient will be placed under some type of anesthesia, either local or general depending on the procedure. Next, the arthroscope is inserted and the problem diagnosed. Finally, additional tools are inserted through a secondary incision. In this way orthopaedic surgeons may repair torn cartilage, remove inflamed tissues, conduct carpal tunnel releases, or excise loose cartilage.

Most patients recover from arthroscopy uneventfully. Many require little or no pain medication, and the puncture wound from the entrance of the arthroscope heals in a matter of days. Following the procedure, your doctor will prescribe certain types of activity or exercises to help improve the healing process.

About the Author: Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Michael Snedden currently serves at Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and is on the clinical faculty of Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He possesses over 20 years of experience as an orthopaedic surgeon.


A well-regarded physician, Dr. Michael Snedden commands more than 20 years of experience in the field of orthopaedic surgery. From 2002 to 2010, Dr. Michael Snedden practiced at Central Virginia Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Fredericksburg sits on the Rappahannock River, less than 50 miles South of Washington, D.C. An historic U.S. city, Fredericksburg boasts an array of noted houses, battlefields, and museums. The city also remains key to Virginia’s thriving commercial sectors. Nonetheless, Fredericksburg’s Historic District serves as a principal influence on the city’s cultural, social, and political identity. The city of Fredericksburg, Virginia currently possesses more than 19,000 residents.

Noted explorer Captain John Smith discovered the area now known as Fredericksburg in 1608. The region continued to experience significant growth and Fredericksburg subsequently received incorporation as a township in 1728. Due to its location approximately midway between the opposing capitals of the North and South, Fredericksburg acquired a key strategic position during the American Civil War. Following the war, Fredericksburg reassumed its role at the center of Virginia industry and the area continued to achieve strong commercial development. Fredericksburg, Virginia officially became incorporated as a city in 1879.

Among other historical points of interest, Fredericksburg’s Historic District maintains an array of more than 350 homes from the 18th and 19th centuries. Fredericksburg’s oldest surviving building dates back to 1737.

The Moss Free Clinic

February 1, 2011

Dr. Michael Snedden regularly utilizes his skill and experience as an orthopedic surgeon to give back to his community in many ways. An active volunteer, Dr. Michael Snedden has performed free medical services for the uninsured and underprivileged through Orthopaedist Health Volunteers Overseas and the Orthopaedist Community Sports Physicals. In his home state of Virginia he donates his services to the Moss Free Clinic.

The Moss Free Clinic is a nonprofit organization directed entirely by volunteers dedicated to providing quality health care services for those in need. While its facility is in Fredericksburg, Virginia, the Moss Free Clinic reaches individuals in the districts of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania, and Stafford. In addition to providing services, Moss Free Clinic also focuses on disease prevention and educating the public. The Moss Free Clinic has been in operation since November 1993.

Patients of the Moss Free Clinic come from a variety of financial backgrounds. The patients who come to the Moss Free Clinic do not qualify for Medicare and are unable to pay for private insurance.

In addition to primary care the Moss Free Clinic provides specialty services for patients with chronic diseases and mental illnesses. The Moss Free Clinic also offers dental care, gynecological services, surgery, cardiology services, and prescriptions.

To learn more about the Moss Free Clinic visit

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