Manipulation of joints under anaesthetic


Surgery to help restore motion and relieve discomfort in your spine, shoulders, hips, knees and feet

About manipulating a joint under anaesthetic

Injuries, surgery, trapped tissue or inflammation can cause the joints in your body to become stiff and painful. If physiotherapy isn't helping, your consultant may recommend manipulation under anaesthetic (MUA). It can increase the range of movement in your joints and help relieve discomfort.

Need to know

  • What happens during manipulation under anaesthetic? icon plus

    What happens during your procedure depends on which joint is being manipulated and what you've discussed with your consultant. MUA is usually carried out under general anaesthetic.

    Your consultant will move your joint to its full range of motion and will stretch the surrounding muscle. They may use a flexible tube with a camera on the end (arthroscope) to operate on the joint itself. If so, your consultant will make a small cut in your skin and guide the arthroscope into your body. The images from the camera will help your consultant operate in a minimally invasive precise way. The procedure should take around 20 minutes.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you and answer any questions. If you're having general anaesthetic, they'll also tell you how long you should avoid eating and drinking beforehand.
  • After your procedure icon plus

    Before you come round from your anaesthetic, your consultant will usually give you a pain relief injection. You should be able to go home on the day, but please arrange for someone to take you home as you won't be able to drive.

    Your joint will probably be swollen or sore for a few days. Try to rest it, keep it elevated and put ice on it. Your consultant will let you know when you can get back to your usual routine, including exercise and work. To help you maintain your range of motion and lead a more active life, they might recommend that you have a course of physiotherapy.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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