Preparing for surgery

Tests and imaging

The surgeon will ask you to have blood tests and x-rays before planning the surgery.

If any important problems are detected or if there are any anaesthetic issues, your surgery may be postponed or modified. If other medical conditions are detected, you may be referred to other specialists.

Some health conditions can increase the risks of knee arthroscopy and the associated anaesthesia. Your surgeon will discuss the best course of action if you have one of them.

Common conditions that may affect the outcome include diabetes, obesity and infection. Smokers are also at a higher risk of complications following surgery, so this could be a good time to quit. 

Consultation with the anaesthetist

The anaesthetist will explain the options and risks of anaesthesia. They’ll want to know about any other existing medical conditions you may have, especially conditions such as lung or heart disease, kidney problems or previous problems with anaesthesia. Learn about Your anaesthetic options.

Preparing your knee for surgery

Exercise before knee surgery has been shown to have a positive effect on recovery. Exercise carried out before surgery to improve recovery after surgery is known as ‘prehab’. It’s designed to improve muscle strength without aggravating the painful knee. Ask your surgeon which exercises are suitable for you. Any program should be carried out under the guidance of a physiotherapist. HCF members with extras cover may be able to claim for this.

The 18-week Healthy Weight For Life osteoarthritis weight loss program includes prehab exercises. The program is free for eligible HCF members.

Getting things ready at home

Your mobility will be limited for the first few weeks after surgery. You’ll need more time to rest and the drugs you take for pain relief may affect your ability to do basic tasks safely.

Think about how you’ll cope using a walking stick.

Climbing stairs may be difficult. If this is unavoidable in your home, think about arranging to sleep downstairs, or staying with a friend or relative. If your bathroom is upstairs, you may need a bedside commode.

Arrange for someone to pick you up from the hospital after the surgery. You won’t be able to drive home after having an anaesthetic or IV sedation. 


The types of anaesthetic that are commonly used for knee arthroscopy.

Important information

Information is provided by HCF in good faith for the convenience of members. It is not an endorsement or recommendation of any form of treatment nor is it a substitute for medical advice, and you should rely on the advice of your treating doctors in relation to all matters concerning your health. Every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however HCF takes no responsibility for any injury, loss, damage or other consequences of the use of this information.