Home Instructions After Acl Reconstruction
1.Call the office immediately if you have a fever over 101.5 degrees, or if you develop numbness in your toes.
2.Some swelling and bruising around the knee and calf are normal, however your calf should not be tense. Call Dr. Samani if your calf becomes swollen or tense. For swelling, you may loosen or remove the immobilizer, elevate your leg comfortably on pillows so that your knee is at or above the level or your hip, and place ice over the ace wrap on your knee. Use the refillable bag from the hospital or a Zip-Lock freezer bag filled with ice and water. Place the ice bag over your knee for 20-30 minutes twice per day. Place the ice bag on top of your ACE wrap and bandages.
3.For pain, take extra-strength Tylenol gel-caps (over the counter medication), 2 tablets 2-3 times per day. For extra pain relief, usually at night, take your prescription medication as directed. You can take both of these medications at the same time as directed.
4.Activity: You may bear weight on the operative leg to tolerance. Use your crutches as desired for balance and to bear weight at a comfortable level on the operative leg. You may wean yourself off the crutches as your pain subsides and balance improves. You should wear the knee immobilizer at all times when weight bearing and also at night while sleeping. This prevents you from twisting your knee under the covers. You are encouraged to remove the immobilizer during the day or evenings, when sitting to bend your knee 90 degrees. This will prevent stiffness from setting in. Do this as many times per day as possible.
5.Dressing: Your knee is wrapped with an ACE bandage over the dressings. You may remove the ACE wrap and bandages on the FIFTH post-operative day. DO NOT remove the small tape strips directly over the incision; these will come off on their own. Rewrap the knee with your ACE bandage daily to keep swelling under control.
6.Bathing: You may shower with the ACE wrap and bandages off on the FIFTH post-operative day. DO NOT soak/submerge your knee in water until 2 WEEKS after your surgery, and after your incision two weeks after surgery.
7.Exercise: Try to do straight leg raises 2 times per day. This will rebuild the quadriceps muscles in your thigh, which can be weakened by this type of surgery. DO NOT do any other type of knee extension exercises until you are instructed to do so by Dr. Samani. DO NOT return to pivoting or court sports, i.e. tennis, volleyball, racquetball, basketball, etc. until instructed by Dr. Samani
8.Follow-up appointments: Be sure to call the office at 402-489-4900, to arrange a follow up with Dr. Samani in 7-10 days. Arrange an appointment with Physical Therapy within 3-5 days after surgery.
9.REMEMBER: 50% of your success after the surgery depends on how hard you work in Physical Therapy.