donate icon DONATE

Arthroscopic surgery, also known as arthroscopy, is a procedure used to diagnose and treat joint conditions that can help get kids back to regular activities faster.

Arthroscopic surgery can treat inflammation, torn ligaments and tendons, loose bone or cartilage and some diseases.

During this minimally invasive procedure, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon will insert a narrow scope (called an arthroscope) through a small incision to view the inside of your joint with a fiber-optic video camera. This allows the surgeon to see the inside of your joint, diagnose and sometimes even treat a joint condition without making a large incision.

Arthroscopic surgery is used to examine the joints of the body to determine either the cause of joint damage or the extent of the damage. The surgery is performed if physicians are unable to determine the source of the joint problem. For example, if it suspected that the joint is damaged but other diagnostic testing such as X-rays, CT scans or MRI are unable to determine the nature of the damage, an arthroscopy may be done to make a diagnosis.

Because it is minimally invasive, there are multiple benefits to arthroscopic surgery, including:

  • Faster recovery
  • Less pain
  • A smaller incision that leaves a smaller scar
  • Reduced infection risk
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Quicker return to normal activity

Every child's surgical experience is different. Depending on the repair needed, as well as the child's age and general health, a pediatric specialist will determine if arthroscopic surgery is an option.

Joints Commonly Examined With Arthroscopy

  • Knee
  • Ankle
  • Hip
  • Elbow
  • Wrist
  • Shoulder

Specific treatments and services may vary by location. Please contact a specific location for more information.

What to Expect After Surgery

The length of your child’s visit after surgery can vary from a few hours to an overnight or extended stay. This will depend on the type of surgery and the follow-up that's required.

They might begin rehabilitation during their time with us. Often, we can offer follow-up care services on site or at one of our clinics nearby, or our staff may be able to connect you with highly qualified and well-respected pediatric orthopedic care providers closer to your home. Speak to any member of your child’s care team to learn more.

Since I tore my ACL and had to have surgery, I did not know if I would recover in time to compete at my high school regional meet, but my doctor never doubted that I could.
Austyn, Kentucky
Nurse helps small girl

Pediatric Rehabilitation

After sustaining a life-changing injury, being in the hospital can be very traumatic for a patient and also for the family learning to take care of the child's new needs. Our rehabilitation team works hard to ensure that patients and caretakers feel comfortable enough to transition back to living at home.

Conditions we treat

View All Related Conditions


Shriners Children's offers a comprehensive hip program that ensures your child receives wrap-around specialty care for their growing bones and joints.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tears

An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear is a common knee injury seen in our sports medicine clinics. Shriners Children's specialists will determine if surgery is needed depending on the severity of the injury.

Meniscal Tears

Meniscal tears are among the most common knee injuries, that usually occur after a sudden twisting of the knee. Our physicians can assess your child's injury and determine if requires surgical repair and/or rehabilitation.


Shriners Children's provides care for broken bones, including open or compound fractures.

Knee Injuries

Active children are susceptible to a number of types of knee injuries that can range from mild to severe. Physicians at Shriners Children's can assess your child's knee pain and develop a treatment plan.

Shoulder Instability and Tears

Shoulder instability and tears are injuries that can occur after a trauma or as a result of repetitive motion, like throwing a softball. Our specialists can diagnose and recommend appropriate treatment based on the severity.

Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow, an overuse injury, is caused by inflammation or microtearing of the tendons that join the forearm muscles outside the elbow. The physicians of Shriners Children’s can diagnose tennis elbow and recommend appropriate treatment.

Next Steps

Request an Appointment

Families and caregivers seeking treatment should start by contacting us for an appointment.

Log in to the Patient Portal

Parents and guardians of existing patients can email, request records, schedule appointments and more.

Refer a Patient

Physicians and healthcare providers can request appointments, start transfers or contact us with questions.