How To Prepare continued...
Tell your doctor if you:
- Have allergies to any medicines, including
- Are taking any medicines,
including blood-thinning medicines (such as warfarin [Coumadin]) or
- Have had any bleeding problems, including blood clots in a
vein (deep vein thrombosis, or DVT).
- Are or might be pregnant.
- Have a history
of joint stiffness or
arthritis. Joint damage caused by arthritis may make
it difficult or impossible to do this procedure.
- Have had an X-ray
of your joint that used
contrast material (arthrogram) within the previous 10
days. The contrast material may cause inflammation within your joint that makes
performing arthroscopy difficult. This inflammation also can prevent a clear
picture of your joint during arthroscopy.
- Have a history of
infection, such as
septic arthritis, in the affected
- Have a history of a broken bone (fracture) or
injury to the affected joint.
Before the procedure, you will be asked to sign a consent
form. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for
the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To
help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
You may have more tests, such as
blood tests or urine tests, before your arthroscopy.
have someone drive you home after the procedure.
If you have
arthroscopy of your ankle, knee, or hip, your doctor will talk to you about
having crutches available after the procedure. If you have arthroscopy of a
joint in your arm, you will likely wear a sling or splint after the
How It Is Done
Arthroscopy is usually done by a doctor
who specializes in bone, muscle, and joint surgery (orthopedic surgeon).
You will be asked to remove any jewelry and to wear a hospital gown. You
may be given a sedative shortly before the procedure to help you relax. The
skin around your joint may be shaved.
general or regional anesthesia is used, an
anesthesia specialist will administer the medicine.
A general anesthetic will make you unconscious during the procedure. Your heart
rate and rhythm, blood pressure, and respirations will be monitored during the
procedure. If a
local anesthetic is used, it will be injected into the
skin and joint space. If a local or regional anesthetic is used, your limb will
be numb and you will be relaxed and drowsy but will remain conscious.
You usually lie on your back. Depending on which joint is being looked
at, an inflatable band (tourniquet) may be used to temporarily restrict blood
flow to your joint so your doctor can see all the structures in your joint.
Your joint is scrubbed with an antiseptic solution and draped with sterile
towels. Before the tourniquet is inflated, the joint will be elevated and may
be wrapped with an elastic bandage to reduce blood flow to the joint.