Before Arthroscopy

The medical staff will help you prepare for arthroscopy. They may ask for the results of any recent checkup or special tests. You will be told how to prepare at home for surgery. A healthcare provider will also talk with you about the type of anesthesia to be used. Finally, you will learn whether you should plan to spend the night at the hospital.

Older man lying in hospital bed talking to health care provider. Another health care provider standing by bed.

Getting ready

  • Have any tests that your surgeon orders.

  • Don’t eat or drink anything for 8 hours before surgery. This includes coffee, water, and gum. Talk with your doctor to find out if you should take your regular medicines before surgery. 

  • Stop taking anti-inflammatory medicine, such as aspirin, 7 to 10 days before surgery.

  • Ask in advance if you can take any daily medicine the day of surgery.

  • If you smoke, now is a good time to stop. This can reduce the risk of surgical complications, such as wound infections. You may need several weeks of not smoking to get the full benefit.

  • Arrange for an adult friend or family member to give you a ride home after surgery.

Planning for anesthesia

Before surgery, you will be told about the type of anesthesia that will keep you free of pain during arthroscopy. General anesthesia lets you sleep through surgery. Regional and local anesthesia numb only part of your body. You may also be given a medicine that will help you relax.

Risks of arthroscopy (rare)

  • Excess bleeding

  • Blood clots

  • Infection

  • Instrument failure

  • Damage to nerves and blood vessels

  • A shift to open surgery (requires a larger incision)

  • Failure of implants


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