Preparation for the arthroscopic surgery
Arthroscopy can be performed under general anesthesia, regional anesthesia (epidural/epidural or spinal anesthesia) and in rare cases also under local anesthesia (local anesthesia). Many surgeons prefer general anaesthesia for the following reasons: The same applies to spinal or epidural anaesthesia. In addition, the treated person can follow the operation here.
Often, however, it is not possible to go home without problems after a few hours. With spinal anaesthesia there is also the risk of a longer lasting severe headache. Local anaesthesia is associated with a relatively low risk.
However, anxiety or slight pain can cause the muscles to tense up. As a result, the surgeon cannot open the joint space sufficiently to work with the instruments. The result is insufficient visibility into the joint.
This is associated with the risk of damaging the sensitive cartilage. – It causes the muscles to relax completely. – It is possible to apply a tourniquet. – The treatment can be carried out with less time pressure. – The number and location of accesses to the knee can be freely chosen.
Since arthroscopy is a surgical procedure performed under anaesthesia, or partially under anaesthesia, there are certain risks involved. Therefore, before the operation, it should be clarified in detail whether arthroscopy is really necessary, and whether it makes sense in view of the symptoms and the disease. Nevertheless, it can be said that arthroscopy, due to its minimally invasive performance, is one of the operations that carry a very low risk.
Thus, there are various studies that indicate a certain probability of serious complications during arthroscopy. The probability is 1:10000 or 1:25000, which means that in 0.01% – 0.004% of cases a serious complication will occur. Serious complications during arthroscopy include thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and severe infections (sepsis).
If there are problems, arthroscopic surgery is usually due to damage to cartilage, skin nerves and smaller blood vessels. The main risk of thrombosis is pulmonary embolism as a secondary disease. However, the probability of this complication is very low.
There are different risks depending on the form of anaesthesia and narcosis used. Local anaesthesia can sometimes cause damage to the cartilage tissue (chondrolysis) and general anaesthesia is always associated with risks, such as an allergic reaction or aspiration where stomach contents enter the trachea. It is also important to note that individual rest periods prescribed by the doctor must be observed.
If the joint is strained too early, relapses may occur, which may require a new operation. If allergies are present, incompatibility with implants inserted during the operation may also occur. A doctor should be consulted if fever or signs of inflammation around the affected knee, as well as redness, warming, pain or swelling occur after the operation.