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Western Orthopaedics

Before, During and After Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy is the examination of the inside of a joint. The arthroscopy examination is done using a special illuminating instrument. This is inserted through a small incision that is made.  When people think about arthroscopy surgery, they tend to feel frightened by it. But, the incision is usually less than 1cm in length.



A common use arthroscopy is the examination and surgical repair of the knee joint. Other joints that may be examined through arthroscopy. This includes the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip and ankle.

There are many conditions that can be treated by arthroscopy, which can include:

  • – Torn cartilage
  • – Damaged joint
  • – Torn ligament
  • – Arthritis


Arthroscopy Surgery Procedure

Your doctor will perform arthroscopy in a hospital or orthopedic clinic. You can usually go home the same day. The type of anesthesia that you will have depends on the joint. It also depends on what your surgeon suspects regarding the problem. 


Local Anesthesia

Numbing agents are injected below the skin. This is to block the sensation in a limited area, such as your shoulder or knee. You will be awake during your arthroscopy. The most you’ll feel is a small amount of pressure or the sensation of movement within the joint.


Regional Anesthesia

Regional anesthesia is delivered through a small needle. It is placed between two of your spine’s lumbar vertebrae. This numbs the bottom half of your body. You will remain awake during the arthroscopy procedure but will not feel anything.


General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is delivered through a vein. You will remain asleep for the arthroscopy procedure.



Before arthroscopy, you should avoid certain medications. You need to speak with your orthopedic doctor regarding what you should not take. 

Before arthroscopy you will also be asked to perform some type of fasting. Depending on the type of anesthesia you’ll have, your doctor may want you to avoid eating solid foods. This is usually for eight hours before your arthroscopy procedure.


The arthroscope is slender – it is less than five millimetres in diameter. It has a fibre-optic light source and a magnifying lens attached to it. A tiny camera within the arthroscope transmits the images of the joint interior. This is transmitted to a television screen. The orthopedic surgeon will usually fill the joint with a sterile fluid. This is to widen it so it’s easier to see.



You may be prescribed some medications. This is a pain management technique to relieve pain and inflammation. When you arrive home you will need to rest for several days to reduce swelling and pain. Your orthopedic doctor might recommend physical therapy and different types of rehabilitation. This is to help strengthen your muscles and improve the healing of the joint that has been treated.


Western Orthopedics Arthroscopy Clinic

If you need a qualified and caring practitioner in Sydney, visit Western Orthopaedics. Our principal orthopedic surgeon is called Dr. Pavitar Sunner. He has the tools and training to treat any knee, hip or shoulder injury. He performs all surgery with careful attention and expertise.

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