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Operative Knee Arthroscopy
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Operative knee arthroscopy is a procedure to look inside your knee joint. An arthroscope is a flexible tube with a light and camera on the end. Knee arthroscopy is usually done to fix damage inside your knee.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE:
Before your procedure:
- Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
- An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
- Anesthesia: This is medicine to make you comfortable during the procedure. Healthcare providers work with you to decide which anesthesia is best for you.
- General anesthesia: Healthcare providers use this medicine to keep you asleep and free from pain during the procedure. They give you anesthesia through your IV or as a gas. You may breathe in the gas through a mask or through a breathing tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.
- Regional anesthesia: Medicine is injected to numb your knee. You will remain awake during the procedure.
During your procedure:
Your healthcare provider will make an incision on your knee to insert the arthroscope. More small incisions may be made on your knee. Small tools may be inserted to fix your knee. Healthcare providers may remove tissue or broken bones. The incisions will be closed with stitches and wrapped with a bandage.
After your procedure:
You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Healthcare providers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed on your own until your healthcare provider says you can. Talk to healthcare providers before you get up the first time. They may need to help you stand up safely. When your healthcare provider sees that you are okay, you may be allowed to go home. If you are staying in the hospital, you will be taken to your hospital room.
- Activity: You may need to walk around the same day of your procedure, or the day after. Movement will help prevent blood clots. You may also be given exercises to do in bed. When you are able to get up on your own, sit or lie down right away if you feel weak or dizzy.
- Take deep breaths and cough 10 times each hour. This will decrease your risk for a lung infection. Take a deep breath and hold it for as long as you can. Let the air out and then cough strongly. Deep breaths help open your airway. You may be given an incentive spirometer to help you take deep breaths. Put the plastic piece in your mouth and take a slow, deep breath, then let the air out and cough. Repeat these steps 10 times every hour.
- Brace: You may need to wear a brace on your knee. This will help prevent movement so your knee can heal. You may need to use crutches to help you move around.
- Pressure stockings: These are long, tight stockings that put pressure on your legs to promote blood flow and prevent clots. You may need to wear pressure stockings until you are able to walk.
- Physical therapy: A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain.
- Ice: Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Healthcare providers will place an ice pack on your knee for 15 to 20 minutes every hour.
- Antinausea medicine: This medicine may be given to calm your stomach and to help prevent vomiting.
- Pain medicine: Healthcare providers may give you medicine to take away or decrease your pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe to ask for your medicine. Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling a healthcare provider when you want to get out of bed or if you need help.
You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. You may have an allergic reaction to the anesthesia. You may have pain or knee stiffness. You may need to have more knee surgery in the future. You may get a blood clot in your leg or arm. The clot may travel to your heart or brain and cause life-threatening problems, such as a heart attack or stroke.
CARE AGREEMENT:You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.