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Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive orthopedic surgical procedure used to diagnose and sometimes treat problems within the knee, shoulder, hip, elbow, wrist and ankle joints. It is an alternative to standard open surgery, which requires larger incisions.

Because arthroscopy uses small incisions, it can offer patients these benefits:

  • Less postoperative swelling and pain
  • Lower risk of surgical complications
  • Faster return to normal activities, including sports
  • Can almost always be done in an outpatient setting

Is arthroscopy right for me?

Many conditions can be treated with arthroscopy instead of standard open surgery, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Meniscus tear
  • Rotator cuff tear in the shoulder or hip
  • Torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
  • Torn labrum in the shoulder or hip
  • Shoulder instability or impingement
  • Removal of small pieces of loose cartilage in the knee or hip joint
  • Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)

But arthroscopy is not recommended for every orthopedic problem. Certain injuries and conditions are more effectively treated with open surgery. The surgeon will discuss all of your options and determine which type of procedure will work best for you.

Types of arthroscopy

Orthopedic surgeons at Rush perform the following:

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

Why choose Rush for arthroscopy

  • The orthopedics program at Rush is consistently ranked among the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Orthopedic surgeons at Rush were among the first in Chicago to perform arthroscopic ACL surgery; today, they do among the most in the Chicago area — and have the lowest rates of failure and complications.
  • Orthopedic surgeons at Rush were the first in Illinois to offer an innovative 100 percent arthroscopic approach to rotator cuff surgery. They continue to pioneer new techniques for rotator cuff repair and teach those techniques to other orthopedic surgeons.
  • As team physicians for the Chicago Bulls, Chicago White Sox and many other teams, orthopedic surgeons at Rush are experts at diagnosing, treating and rehabilitating sports injuries in athletes — from Little Leaguers to the pros.