Post-Operative Instructions

Knee Arthroscopy

(You will receive your customized post-op instructions after your surgery.)


    Elevate your knee and apply an ice pack to help reduce pain and swelling for 24-48 hours. Keep the dressing dry. Small amounts of drainage on the dressing are normal and may be reinforced with a 4 X 4 gauze and ace wrap. You may bend your knee as much as the dressing allows.

    If recommended by Dr. Thompson, start Physical Therapy 3-5 days after surgery.


    Use cane or crutches for security and comfort as needed. Discard them as soon as possible unless otherwise specified.

    _________________weight bearing is allowed as tolerated with pain and swelling being your guide to activities.


    Take the following medication as directed

    • Motrin 800 mg every 8 hours as needed for pain
    • Vicodin or Percocet as needed for severe pain
    • Enteric-coated Aspirin 81 mg twice a day for 3 weeks (blood thinner)

    To minimize gastric upset from narcotics or anti-inflammatory medicine, eat adequate amounts of food. Increase fluid and fiber intake to ease constipation from pain medicine. Stool softeners (Colace or Pericolace) can also be useful for constipation.


    Keep the knee dressing dry and in place for 48 hours. Cover the knee with plastic wrap to keep the dressing dry for a shower. 48 hours after surgery, you may remove the dressing and shower, letting water run over the incisions. Apply band-aids to the incisions. No bath, hot tubs, or swimming .


    Your surgeon should be contacted by calling 703-810-5210 Option 3, 24 hours a day for any of the following symptoms:

    • Fever greater than 101.5 degrees F.
    • Numbness, loss of good color or coolness in the leg.
    • Severe pain unresponsive to narcotic medication.
    • Severe calf pain.
    • Excessive bleeding or vomiting.

    If you have chest pain, difficulty breathing, or you black out, call 911 and go directly to the nearest emergency room.


    Your post-operative appointment is scheduled on __________________________________________________.

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