Before going ahead with knee arthroscopy, there are certain questions you need to ask. If in doubt, consider getting a second opinion.
Make sure you fully understand the procedure; don’t be afraid to ask questions. It's important your doctor explains the common risks and benefits, as well as those particular to your circumstances. Knowing all the relevant information is part of informed clinical consent.
Questions for your surgeon
- How likely is it that my symptoms will improve without surgery?
- What evidence is there that surgery is better than non-operative treatment?
- Is surgery really needed at this time or can it wait?
- Is there anything I can do to delay surgery?
- Is there anything I can do to improve the outcome, such as losing weight or building muscle?
- What are the likely out-of-pocket medical expenses? (Your doctor should be able to give you a breakdown of any costs you'll incur – this is known as ‘Informed Financial Consent’) Learn about the costs
- Will there be an additional fee for an assistant surgeon? If so, what will it be?
- How should I prepare for surgery?
- Will I have a choice of anaesthetist?
- Will I be able to meet with the anaesthetist before the day of surgery?
- Will there be an additional fee for the anaesthetist? If so, what will it be?
- What happens during and after surgery?
- How many knee arthroscopies do you perform each year? (Surgeons who perform multiple arthroscopies have higher success and lower complication rates)
- What percentage of your patients are satisfied with the results?
- What is your complication rate for this procedure?
- What sort of result can I expect?
- What limitations will there be to my activities: how far can I walk, when can I drive, return to work, resume sports, sexual activities, etc?
- Follow-up appointments (Write down any questions or concerns you want to discuss with your surgeon)
Tell your surgeon if you have any skin lesions, sores, cuts, or a raised temperature, as you'll need to be treated before surgery.
Most medication should be taken as usual, but some may interfere with the operation. Your surgeon will let you know which medication (if any) you should stop.
This could include:
- NSAIDs (including aspirin)
- Blood thinners (warfarin, heparin)
- Arthritis medication
- Pain medication
Don’t forget to mention any homeopathic or herbal remedies you’re taking, as these can have interactions and side effects too.
Questions for your anaesthetist
- What type of anaesthesia are you planning to use for my surgery?
- Will you be prescribing a pre-med? (A medication given before the anaesthetic to prevent nausea, reduce stomach acid or help you relax)
- How will my pain be managed after the surgery? (The anaesthetist is responsible for this)
Print out this page to take to your appointment with the surgeon and anaesthetist.