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Debridement is a surgical 'clean up' of the joint cavity.

'Debridement' is a rather broad term, encompassing sucking up loose fronds of synovium (joint lining), meniscus or cruciate ligament and sucking out any joint debris. Arthroscopic debridement means that this is done using keyhole surgery, where a thin 'scope' is pushed into the joint (arthro=joint) to visualise the structures.

It may be a trivial part of the surgical procedure or, if there is florid synovitis (joint lining inflammation), it may be extensive.

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