An arthroscopy is a common procedure that is used to repair joint injuries. A small tube, called an arthroscope, with a camera attached is inserted into your joint via a small incision. With the help of the images taken by this camera, your consultant orthopaedic surgeon can examine an injury, take biopsies and repair damaged tissue using small instruments inserted into a second incision.

At The London Clinic, our surgeons can perform arthroscopies on injured joints including your ankle, knee, elbow, shoulder, wrist or hip.

Having an arthroscopy: what to expect

An arthroscopy usually takes around an hour to perform depending on what needs to be done. You will be usually have a general anaesthetic but it is possible for an arthroscopy to be done under local anaesthetic while you’re awake, so you’ll be able to go home straight afterwards. If you’re going under a general anaesthetic, you’ll need to stop drinking and eating at least 6 hours prior to the procedure.

During the operation, your orthopaedic surgeon will make small incisions around the affected joint. Sterile fluid will then be pumped into the joint so that the camera can collect a clearer picture.

After this has been done, the arthroscope will be inserted into the incisions and the injury will be examined by looking at the images that are sent to the monitor attached to the arthroscope.

If your surgeon is repairing a joint, he or she will insert small instruments through a small separate incision.