The first week after your surgery is very important to minimize swelling and discomfort. Swelling is a natural response to surgery.
STAY DOWN with your leg elevated as much as possible. You should only be up to go to the restroom and shower the first 24 hours. The body is more efficient at minimizing swelling when it does not have to fight gravity to return blood from your knee. Your recliner is not a good position for elevating the leg; the couch or bed with your toes above your nose works best.
USE ICE every 2 hours for about 20 minutes at a time. The cold will make a difference in your comfort level. Do not leave the ice on until it melts.
TAKE YOUR MEDICATIONS. A prescription will be provided for you to decrease pain and swelling, it is not necessary for you to suffer. You may also take ibuprofen for moderate pain.
Remove your bandage after 36 hours. If your incisions are dry with no drainage, you may shower; you do not have to cover the incisions when showering. After showering, wipe the incisions with alcohol and cover with band aids; avoid ointments like Neosporin. If you were given stockings, pull the stocking back on and use daily until your follow-up visit. Please avoid submerging the knee in any standing water, i.e. hot tubs, bath tubs, lakes, pools.
DO YOUR EXERCISES. Use the crutches as long as needed to walk. Unless instructed otherwise by your doctor you may put as much weight as you can tolerate on the operative extremity. Start to bend and straighten your knee as soon as you can. Many patients do not need crutches more than a couple of days. Getting your knee straight is an important goal during your first few days after surgery. Try not to lie with a pillow under your knee. Instead place it under your ankle allowing you to push your knee straight. Try to achieve a straight knee by your first follow-up visit. Physical Therapy should be initiated 3-5 days after your surgery if possible.
FOLLOW UP VISIT – Call our office to schedule your follow-up visit, we usually need to see you in 10-14 days. We will go over your surgical findings at your follow-up visit.
CONCERNS – Please call the office if you have any questions or if you experience any of the following: Fever greater than 100.5 that does not subside after Tylenol, excessive drainage or redness associated with warmth around your incision, or pain unrelieved by your pain medication.