ACL

Dressing
  • Keep dressing clean and dry; do not remove or unwrap until your first office visit. A small amount of bleeding is normal.
  • Do not put ointment on your incision until cleared by Dr. Kehoe.
Showering
  • Incisions should not get wet the first 10 (ten) days after surgery.
  • If you can keep the incisions dry, you may shower. You can wrap your knee with a plastic bag and seal the ends with plastic wrap. If this is too difficult, use a wash cloth to clean up and avoid getting the knee wet.
  • Do not submerge your knee in a bathtub, hot tub or pool until 1 month after surgery.
Icing
  • Ice and elevate for the first 5-7 days postoperatively. While the post-op dressing is in place, icing should be continuous with either a Game Ready cryocuff device or ice (frozen peas are a good substitute for ice). Once the dressing is removed, ice may be applied for 30 minute periods 4-5 times per day.
  • Elevate the knee above the heart level (“toes above the nose”) for the first 5 days after surgery, 30 minutes every 2 hours. Move your ankles up and down on a regular basis.
Bracing
  • Keep the brace locked in extension for the first 24 hours. You may unlock the brace after 24 hours when seated, which will allow your knee to bend and straighten.
  • The brace needs to remain in the locked position when walking until instructed by Dr. Kehoe.
Activity
  • Rest the knee for 24 hours. Crutches will be provided to assist with walking.
  • You are allowed to put as much weight as tolerated on your knee, unless specifically instructed not to do so by Dr. Kehoe.
Exercise
  • Use pain as your guide for the exercises - if it hurts, slow down.
  • Exercises will initially be performed with your brace on.
    1. Heel Roll: Roll a towel and put it under your heel with nothing under your knee. Work on pushing your knee straight down towards the floor. Hold this position for 10 counts. You may assist this by resting your hand on your thigh, near the knee to keep your leg straight. Relax after 10 counts, and repeat 10 times. This exercise should be done hourly while awake.
    2. Quad Sets: Tighten your thigh muscles, hold for 5 counts. Relax. Repeat for 3 sets of 10 repetitions. When you tighten your thigh muscles, it will feel like your knee is straightening (that is OK).
    3. Heel Slides: Lay on your back with legs out straight. Slowly slide your heel towards your buttock as far as is comfortable. Hold for 5 counts. Relax and straighten your leg. Repeat 10 times. You can assist by using a towel around your foot to pull the leg up. These exercises must be done non-weight bearing.
    4. Patella Mobilization: Move the kneecap toward the inner side of your leg and hold for 5 seconds. Move the kneecap toward the outer side of your leg and hold for 5 seconds. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions in each direction.
    5. Straight Leg Raises: While in a sitting position, lift your leg off the ground a few inches and hold for 10 seconds. Relax. Repeat this 10 times. Repeat this for 4 sets of 10 repetitions.
Medications
  • Use medication as directed (per the bottle). No pain medication is capable of taking away all the pain; taking your pills at regular intervals will give you the best chance of having less pain.
  • Do not combine with alcoholic beverages.
  • Do not drive.
  • Nausea, vomiting and dizziness may present while using pain medications. If these symptoms persist, call Julia at the Aspen clinic (414-328-8602) and we can change the medication.
  • You may switch to over-the-counter pain medications, such as Tylenol, as you become more comfortable.
  • You should resume your normal medications for other conditions the day after surgery.
  • We have no specific diet restrictions after surgery but extensive use of narcotics can lead to constipation. High fiber diet, lots of fluids, and muscle activity can prevent this occurrence.
Follow-up
  • Your follow-up appointment will be about 10 days after surgery. Please call the office at (414-328-8600) to schedule this appointment.
  • Most patients are able to drive if surgery does not involve their right leg, as soon as they stop taking narcotic pain medications. Driving while under the influence of narcotic medications is extremely dangerous and discouraged in all patients.
  • Returning to school or work also depends on the degree of postoperative pain and the demands of your job. Pain is generally an appropriate guide.
When to call the office
If you experience the following symptoms call our office as soon as possible (414-328-8600). These may be signs of infection or deep venous thrombosis:
  • Severe pain with fever greater than 101 F (~38.3 C).
  • Limited knee range of motion.
  • Calf or thigh pain that is consistent and does not go away.
  • With chest pain or shortness of breath, call 911.