How To Prepare continued...
You will be asked to sign a consent form that says you understand the risks of the test and agree to have it done.
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.
During the procedure
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.
A small incision about
0.25 in. (0.6 cm) will be made
near your joint. Before inserting the arthroscope, an irrigation solution
(usually saline) will be used to flush the joint space to provide a better view
of the entire joint. A steady low flow of solution is usually used during the
procedure to clear out any debris or blood in the joint so your doctor can
evaluate your joint.
Once the arthroscope is inserted, your doctor
will be able to see inside the joint by viewing a video monitor attached to the
arthroscope. Your doctor or the surgical assistants may bend, extend, and
reposition the joint to see it from different angles. Videotapes or photographs
of the joint may also be taken.