You will have a general anaesthetic, and will be asleep for the whole operation. The arthroscope is a telescope about as wide as a pen, connected to a television.
The surgeon will insert the arthroscope through one or two tiny cuts (about half an inch 1.2cm) around your knee. He will use it to look at the inside of your knee. This operation is called an arthroscopy. If you have torn a cartilage, he will remove the torn part using fine instruments inserted through small cuts. Occasionally he has to make a bigger cut to remove the cartilage. This would be about three inches (7.2cm) long.
If you have torn a ligament within the knee, he will not replace it during this operation. He will discuss the possible treatments with you after your arthroscopy. If he finds a loose bone fragment, he will remove it through the small cuts. If you have arthritis, he can see how severe it is. He will wash out the knee with salt water. This often improves your symptoms for some months. The cuts will be closed with paper tapes or stitches.
The operation can either be done as a day case, which means that you come into hospital on the day of the operation and go home the same day, or as an inpatient case, which means spending one night in hospital. Your surgeon will discuss with you which way you will be having the operation.