This invention provides articulated surgical instruments for use in laparoscopic surgical procedures including, in general, a handle, an elongated shaft, and an articulated tip. A gap extends longitudinally between the shaft and the tip. The instruments further include a flexible compression drive member, preferably a flexible cable, which is slidably disposed in the shaft and extends through the gap. The flexible drive member bends through the gap in a plane of articulation when the tip is articulated. A flexible support is attached at one end to the shaft and at another end to the tip. At least one of those connections is a slidable connection. The support extends through the articulation joint adjacent to the flexible drive member in the plane of articulation such that the support bends through the gap in the plane of articulation and the flexible drive member bends against the support when the tip is articulated in one direction from its aligned position. Preferably, the instruments include a pair of such supports extending adjacent to opposite sides of the flexible drive member.