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Pediatric Minimally Invasive Orthopaedic Surgery

At Children's National Health System, we aim to use a minimally invasive approach whenever possible. We are experts in using surgical techniques that will not affect your child's future physical and neurological development.

Arthroscopic Surgery at Children's National

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive orthopaedic surgical procedure that uses small incisions and miniature instruments. We frequently use arthroscopy to treat sports injuries such as:

  • Ligament tears
  • Meniscal injuries
  • Shoulder injuries

Arthroscopy allows us to avoid a more invasive procedure, causing as little disruption to the soft tissue and limbs as possible. There is less pain and the recovery is shorter following an arthroscopic surgery than after a traditional surgery.

Arthroscopic Surgery: What to Expect

Arthroscopic surgery is a broad term that includes many types of orthopaedic surgeries. Every child's surgical experience is different depending on the repair needed, as well as the child's age and general health. Here is a general idea of what you can expect during arthroscopic surgery.

Your child's surgical team will:

  1. Place your child under general anesthesia. He or she will be asleep during the surgery and not feel any pain.
  2. Make a tiny incision in your child's skin.
  3. Insert miniature, pencil-sized instruments into the incision. The instruments have a camera and light attached, sending detailed images to a monitor that the surgeon sees.
  4. Visualize the joint on the monitor, seeing high-resolution images of the operating area (for example, the knee or shoulder joint).
  5. Repair the injury.
  6. Remove the instruments and close the incisions.
  7. Discuss the results of the surgery with you, as well as discharge and follow-up instructions.

Minimally Invasive Orthopaedic Surgical Procedures at Children’s National

In addition to arthroscopic surgery, we offer other minimally invasive surgeries for our young patients. These include procedures for:

  • Bone fractures and breaks. Our team uses minimally invasive approaches to fix bone fractures while maintaining healthy growth of the bone.
  • Limb deformities. Minimally invasive techniques allow us to repair angular deformities in limbs without affecting your child's physical growth. For example, we can correct clubfeet by targeting just the problem area and not operating on the entire limb.

Keep in mind that Children's National orthopaedic surgeons are experts in all types of orthopaedic procedures. Sometimes, your child's doctor may decide that a traditional, open approach will offer your child the optimal results. We always have your child's best outcome in mind.

Contact Us

For more information, call 202-476-2112.

Children's Team

Children's Team


Shannon McClure-Kelly

Shannon Kelly

Associate Chief, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Matthew Oetgen

Matthew Oetgen

Division Chief, Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine
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Skeletal Dysplasia Clinic

For more than 25 years, the Skeletal Dysplasia Clinic has provided multidisciplinary care for infants, children, and young adults with various forms of skeletal disorders.

Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine

From sprains and strains to complex congenital conditions, Children’s National Hospital offers one of the most experienced pediatric orthopaedic practices in the nation with experience in treating all areas from head to toe.

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