Evaluations and Tests
Your orthopaedic surgeon may ask you to see your primary doctor to make sure that you do not have any medical problems that need to be addressed before your surgery. Blood tests, an electrocardiogram, or chest x-ray may be needed to safely perform your surgery.
If you have certain health risks, a more extensive evaluation may be necessary before your surgery. Be sure to inform your orthopaedic surgeon of any medications or supplements that you take. You may need to stop taking some of these prior to surgery.
If you are generally healthy, your arthroscopy will most likely be performed as an outpatient. This means you will not need to stay overnight at the hospital.
The hospital or surgery center will contact you ahead of time to provide specific details about your procedure. Make sure to follow the instructions on when to arrive and especially on when to stop eating or drinking prior to your surgery.
Before the operation, a member of the anesthesia staff will talk with you about anesthesia options. Elbow arthroscopy is usually performed using general anesthesia, meaning you are put to sleep.
Regional nerve block injections that numb just your elbow area are rarely used in elbow arthroscopy because the numbing effect can last for a few hours after the procedure is completed. Although the numbing effect can help with managing pain, it prevents your surgeon from completing a careful nerve examination in the recovery room to make sure that the nerves that travel down your arm are functioning well.
If necessary for pain control, a regional anesthetic may be provided in the recovery room after your surgeon completes the nerve examination.