Between 1984 and 1990, 952 patients had arthroscopic meniscectomies with a specially designed electrocautery loop probe. In all but 250 patients, 1.5% glycine was used as the nonconductive irrigating solution. Ninety-five patients had repeat arthroscopic procedures at a minimum of 6 months after their original procedure. Biopsies of the meniscal remnants were obtained in 21 patients. In all 21, there was no evidence of thermal damage in the area of the previous arthroscopic meniscal electrosurgery. In less than 4% of the patients, articular surface injuries occurred at the time of the original meniscectomy. Careful records were kept outlining the areas of contact damage with the exposed wire of the electrocautery loop probe. At repeat arthroscopies in 17 patients 9 months to 4 years after the initial procedure, there was no apparent evidence of significant permanent damage to the articular surface in the area of the original thermal injury. The electrocautery loop probe was effective for efficient resection of simple and complex tears of the medial or lateral meniscus.