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HealthSheets™

Before Arthroscopy

Healthcare provider with electronic tablet talking to woman in hospital bed.The healthcare staff will help you get ready for arthroscopy. They may ask for the results of any recent exams or special tests. You will be told how to get ready at home for surgery. A healthcare provider will talk with you about the type of anesthesia to be used. You will also learn whether you should plan to spend the night at the hospital.

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.

  • Ask your healthcare provider if you should take your regular medicines before surgery. 

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

  • If you smoke, now is a good time to stop. Quitting can lessen the risk for problems from the surgery, such as an infection. 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 medicine that will keep you free of pain during arthroscopy. General anesthesia lets you sleep through surgery. Regional and local anesthesia numb the involved part of your body. You may also be given a medicine that will help you relax.

Risks of arthroscopy (rare)

  • Excess bleeding or swelling

  • Blood clots

  • Infection

  • Instrument breakage or failure

  • Harm to nerves and blood vessels

  • A shift to open surgery (calls for a larger cut)

  • Anesthesia problems

© 2000-2018 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.