The role of arthroscopy in the management of degenerative conditions of the knee continues to evolve. This study was undertaken to: (1) assess the efficacy of arthroscopic treatment, (2) identify significant prognostic factors, and (3) further define the indications for treatment. A retrospective review of charts and operative videotapes along with follow-up evaluation was obtained for 43 knees in 40 patients. Average age was 54 years. Average follow up was 24 months; 72.1% of patients had good results at follow up, 16.3% had fair results, and 11.6% were treatment failures. Preoperative clinical status, severity of degenerative changes, and number of pathologic entities encountered at the time of surgery correlated with the results of treatment. We believe that arthroscopic debridement is an effective means of treatment for mild to moderate degenerative joint disease after failure of conservative measures. By using this treatment option, more extensive surgical procedures may be delayed or avoided.