Preparing for a knee arthroscopy

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What is an arthroscopy?

A knee arthroscopy is a type of keyhole surgery. Your surgeon will put a narrow telescope through a small cut in your skin to look inside your knee joint and treat any problems. Some procedures require several small cuts to pass the instruments into the knee.

What type of anaesthetic will I have?

There are two main types of anaesthetic given for this type of surgery:

  • general anaesthetic – anaesthetic drugs which make you unconscious, so that you will feel nothing throughout your operation
  • spinal anaesthetic – the lower half of your body is numbed by an injection in your lower back. This can be given on its own or with sedation (medicine to relax you).

Most knee arthroscopies are performed under a general anaesthetic.

Your anaesthetist will talk with you about the ways in which you can have your anaesthetic – based on your health, age and other medical conditions. Together you can choose the best method for you.