ACL reconstruction is extensive knee surgery. The following guidelines will help you recover quickly and safely during the postoperative period. Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have further questions or need clarification of this information.
• If you received a nerve block, expect some numbness and weakness for 6-24 hours
• Take pain medication when you feel it starting to wear off
• Try to “stay ahead” of your pain.
• Minimize activity at home for the first 24-72 hours
• Keep extremity elevated when sitting or lying down, but keep knee straight
• Use 2 crutches to bear as much weight as possible on the operated leg
• Wear your brace while up walking.
• Leave dressing on for 48-72 hours after surgery
• You may shower after 48-72 hours and wash with warm soapy water
• Please leave steri-strips in place
• Pat the wound dry and reapply ace bandage and knee brace
• No baths or whirlpools until 21 days after the surgery
• The brace should always be used at all times except for showering and exercises.
• Always use the brace while walking or when out of the house.
• Use the brace while sleeping for the first 7-10 days.
• After 7 days, you may remove the brace while sitting at home or in a controlled environment.
• Work on straightening your knee. Never put anything under the knee to keep it bent.
• Place a pillow under the heel for 10-15 minutes each waking hour
• Have a friend or family member help straighten the knee by pushing down above and below the dressings.
• Straight leg raises (3 sets of 10) 8-10 times per day.
• Ice helps to reduce pain and swelling
• Place ice to knee 6-8 times a day for 20 minutes at a time
OR if available
Cold Therapy Unit
• This machine helps to reduce pain and swelling
• Use the machine as much as possible for the first week
• Change the ice every 6-8 hours to keep the temperature around 42 degrees
• Never place the polar pad directly on the skin.
• You will be given prescriptions for a narcotic. Take as prescribed.
• Narcotics cause constipation. Stay well hydrated and use a stool softener twice daily when taking the narcotics
• You may take ibuprofen in addition to your pain medicine, but no Tylenol. Your pain medicine already has Tylenol in it.
• Your postoperative visit 5-7 days following your surgery will have been scheduled prior to your surgery.
• Please call the office at 541-754-1276 to confirm your appointment.
• Pain unrelieved by medication or worsening pain
• Nausea and vomiting you cannot control
• Fever over 100.0 after the first 48 hours
• Persistent drainage from the incisions (some spotting is normal on the bandage for the first 5 days)
• Increasing redness around incisions
• Calf pain or tenderness
Call Dr. Passanise’s office at 541-754-1276 with questions
After hours call Orthopedics at 541-754-1150