Needle Arthroscopy

The future is here. 

Needle Arthroscopy

What is needle arthroscopy? This new technology, an alternative for MRI, is an innovative procedure utilized by our physicians to provide a real-time diagnosis. This hand-held arthroscope (as we often refer to as a camera on a needle) provides our surgeons, and you, instant, accurate answers.  Pain-free, less cost. The future is here.



An MRI typically involves extra time for scheduling with an outside facility and then more time following up with the physician. The result of an MRI? A picture. This procedure is administered by Dr. Daggett while you remain awake using a local numbing of the joint. The needle and camera design produces a high resolution video, allowing you to get more accurate answers to your joint pain immediately.


The total procedure is about 10 – 15 minutes. Key steps include:


1. Sterile the procedure site.


2. A local anesthetic is provided to numb skin and surrounding area to reduce pain.


3. The doctor inserts the needle-camera into the joint.


4. The doctor examines joint and views a vivid picture on an HD tablet, providing real-time diagnosis.


5. After the procedure, the area is covered with a bandage and patient returns to normal activities and determines a treatment plan with the physician.


Some patients choose to watch the procedure. Others prefer to utilize VR goggles. Whatever the option, patients report high satisfaction with the procedure. The clarity in treatment path helps patients feel confident recovery is close. 


Needle Arthroscopy Benefits


An injured knee or shoulder may take weeks to visualize and diagnose with an MRI. This diagnostic procedure is faster, providing real-time, vivid imaging that benefits both patient and doctor with the answers necessary to determine the best treatment – all in just one visit. Typically, patients are able to spend less time waiting for results, more time getting back on the road to recovery.


In a a study published in the Journal of Arthroscopy, the accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of needle arthroscopy was equivalent to surgical diagnostic arthroscopy and more accurate than MRI.


Needle  arthroscopy is also a safe alternative diagnostic plan for patients who are not candidates for an MRI.




This arthroscope technique is ideal for patients who want immediate answers. It is also ideal for patients who are not candidates for MRIs.  Injuries to the shoulder, knee, elbow and hip can potentially be diagnosed through this procedure.


Risks, Side Effects, Coverage


This procedure cannot be performed on patients with an active infection.  Patients have tolerated the procedure very well, with most reporting little to no pain. It is important to note that every patient is different, and pain may be variable. In some cases, an MRI may still be necessary if incomplete visualization of the joint occurs.


Most major insurance carriers cover the procedures. Some insurances do require prior authorization. However, validated procedural history has indicated that prior authorization is patient and plan dependent. Needle arthroscopy is typically more cost effective than an MRI.


Sano Orthopedics is the first orthopedic practice in Kansas City to utilize this technology. There will always be a place for MRI, but we see an opportunity for this tool as well. We are committed to technique innovation and transparency in results, both of which this procedure exemplifies.  Not only does it offer so many benefits to our patients today, this is just the tip of the iceberg on what we foresee in treating orthopedic conditions.

Contact us if you want to learn more.


Contact Our Care Team!

(816) 525-2840


Our Locations:

Overland Park, KS

12330 Metcalf Ave., Suite 400
Overland Park, KS 66213

Lee's Summit, MO

2000 SE Blue Pkwy, Suite 230
Lee's Summit, MO 64063


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