Skip to main content

What Is an Arthroscopic Procedure?

Questions and Answers About Pediatric Arthroscopic Procedures 

If your child is experiencing joint pain or problems, doctors may order tests — like X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans — to get to the root of what’s causing the issue. In some cases, doctors may want to perform an arthroscopic procedure to look inside the joint to be certain of a diagnosis.

If your child’s doctor recommended an arthroscopy, that’s because it’s proven to be a thorough method of diagnosing and treating joint problems. Additionally, the procedure provides young patients with the least invasive, most effective treatment possible.

As experts in treating children who have complex conditions, Gillette Children’s is here to help navigate the journey.

Gillette Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon Trenton Cooper DO, MS checking a patient's knee

What Is an Arthroscopic Procedure?  

Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive orthopedic procedure used to diagnose and treat joint conditions. This type of procedure addresses problems in the shoulder, wrist, elbow, hip, knee and ankle joints.

At times, your child’s surgeon will perform an arthroscopy to assess and diagnose a joint injury. Other times, surgeons will repair or remove damaged cartilage, torn ligaments or tendons, loose bone or cartilage fragments, or an inflamed joint lining via an arthroscopic procedure.

It’s important to know that arthroscopy is a very safe and low-risk procedure that can sometimes be completed on an outpatient basis.

What Happens During an Arthroscopic Procedure?  

During an arthroscopic surgery, the surgeon inserts a narrow scope through a small incision to see the inside of your child’s joint with a fiber-optic video camera.

The camera enables the surgeon to see the inside of the joint, diagnose the severity of the issue, and potentially treat a joint condition without making a large incision. The image of the inside of your child’s joint will be transmitted to a high-definition monitor where the surgeon can view the problem area. Using small tools, your child’s surgeon will assess the damage or injury and repair the joint if necessary.

Afterward, the incision is closed and covered, with the surgery usually lasting about 60 to 90 minutes. Because it’s minimally invasive, there are multiple benefits to arthroscopic surgery, including:

  • Less pain
  • A shorter stay in the hospital if recommended after the procedure
  • A much quicker recovery
  • A faster return to normal activities

Your child will usually be able to return home the same day as surgery with specific instructions to help aid their recovery.

They may experience some pain and tenderness following the procedure, but many patients can return to normal activities within a few weeks.

As an added benefit after surgery at Gillette Children’s, our clinical team works together to design a comprehensive rehabilitation plan for your child to address their specific needs and get them back into the activities they enjoy as quickly soon as possible.

Gillette Children’s Orthopedic Specialists  

Gillette Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon Trenton Cooper DO, MS checking a patient's knee

At Gillette Children’s, we understand that children aren’t just small adults and that their growing bones and different developmental stages pose unique challenges. Our orthopedic specialists are known nationally for their expertise in treating complex pediatric orthopedic conditions.

Our specialists know what to look for and can work toward the best outcome with a system of care specially designed for your child. 

  • Gillette’s pediatric orthopedic and sports medicine surgeons are leaders in minimally invasive procedures like arthroscopic surgery.
  • Our goal is to provide your child with the least invasive and most effective treatment options possible.
  • Our multidisciplinary team delivers personalized care to kids of various ages who deal with a variety of physical issues.

Armed with the latest techniques and research to guide our work, the experts at Gillette Children’s use the most innovative solutions to address the most complicated cases.

From Complex Pediatric Care to Sports Injury Treatment, Discover the Gillette Difference  

Compassion is at the core of Gillette’s care model, and our internationally recognized medical staff members pride themselves on providing excellence in surgical, medical and rehabilitative care. The pediatric orthopedic specialists at Gillette also work with parents to educate them on ways to help keep their kids’ bones strong and healthy.

Our clinically integrated care model focuses on bringing together experts from many areas to care for all your child’s needs. This care model enables us to connect with each family on a more personal level. It also helps your child achieve the best possible outcomes and thrive after injury and surgery.

If you have additional questions about arthroscopic procedures or Gillette Children’s, contact us today.

We can connect you with the right specialist to answer any further questions.