Rest, Ice, and Elevation

Elevate your knee to help reduce pain and swelling for 24 hours. Apply ice for 6 hours. Keep the dressing and incisions dry at all times. Small amounts of drainage on the dressing are normal and may be reinforced with a 4x4 gauze and Ace wrap. You may bend your knee as much as the dressing allows.


Use cane or crutches for security and comfort as needed. Discard them as soon as possible unless otherwise specified by your doctor. You will be told if weight bearing is allowed as tolerated with pain and swelling are your activity guides.


Begin exercises as soon as possible. 10 sets every hour up to 100 per day.

  • Quad Sets: Straighten your knee, tense the quad muscle, hold for 5 seconds, then relax for 5 seconds.
  • Straight Leg Raises: Tightening your thigh muscle and lift your leg approximately 24 inches, hold for 5 seconds. Then slowly lower your leg keeping your leg straight and thigh muscle tight.
  • Ankle Pumps: Push your ankle up and down to promote blood flow.

No sports, running, excessive stair climbing, squatting, or jumping. If your job requires little physical activity, you may return to work in two to three days. If your job requires considerable standing, lifting, walking or climbing, discuss your return to work date with the surgeon.


You will be told the medication(s) to take, including how much and how often.

Pain Medication Tips

  • Do not drive while taking pain medications.
  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages while taking pain medications.
  • Pain medication should be taken with food as this will help prevent any stomach upset.
  • Often pain medications will cause constipation. Eat high fiber foods and increase your fluid intake if possible.
  • To alleviate constipation, purchase a stool softener at any pharmacy and follow the recommended directions on the bottle.


Remove the dressing 48 hours after surgery. Clean the extremity with rubbing alcohol to remove the surgical prep solution. You may shower at this point, no baths, hot tubs, or swimming. Prior to showering, cover the knee with plastic wrap to keep the knee dry. If the knee gets wet, dry immediately. After the shower cover the incisions with band-aids and re-apply ace wrap. Change the band-aids daily.


Your surgeon should be contacted by calling 703-810-5215 Option 3 or 703-810-5213 Option 3 24 hours a day for any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever greater than 101.5 degrees F.
  • Redness or swelling in the calf that doesn't resolve overnight.
  • Numbness, loss of good color or coolness in the foot.
  • Severe pain unresponsive to narcotic medication.
  • Excessive bleeding or vomiting.
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath – CALL 911


You will receive information on when and where your post-operative appointment is scheduled.

If you need to verify or change your post-op appointment, please call 703-277-2663.