ACL Reconstruction: General Surgical Post-OP Protocol

ACL Reconstruction РGeneral Surgical Post-OP Protocol 

So, you just had ACL reconstruction surgery. It’s a pretty serious procedure. And you need to take the post-op protocol seriously. Here is some advise on what to do after your ACL reconstruction.

A. Immediate Post-OP Protocol:

  • You will be scheduled as a short stay surgery patient. This means that you most likely will go home the same day of your surgery. You will usually see Dr. Feder three days following the ACL reconstruction for your post op MD visit.
  • Dressing: Leave the surgical dressing intact until follow-up visit with Dr. Feder, any concerns please reach out to our office.
  • Keep pets away from surgical site. To prevent possibility of infection after ACL reconstruction surgery keep surgical site clean, and please keep animals away fro your surgical site for two weeks.
  • ACL reconstruction: Weight bear as tolerated using crutches, with the knee brace locked in extension when you are walking around and at rest (4-6 weeks in brace) unless instructed otherwise by Dr. Feder. Remember, you should be in the brace at all times.
  • Meniscus Repair: Non Weight Bearing, using crutches at all times. No weight put on the surgical leg for 3-4 weeks following surgery. Keep the brace locked in extension at all times (4-6 weeks in brace) unless instructed otherwise by Dr. Feder.
  • Quad sets and Straight Leg Raises (SLR), with the knee brace locked in full extension. If necessary, you may seek assistance with the SLRs. Both ACL and Meniscus Repairs begin these exercises immediately following surgery.
  • Sponge bathe only! No shower or bath until stitches come out.
  • You will receive a Physical Therapy prescription. Contact your physical therapy provider to set up your PT appointments, so you may begin your PT following your first post op visit to Dr. Feder.

B. Immediate Immobilization Protocol:

  • Remember to accentuate full extension of the knee by putting a rolled towel or pillow under your heel. Do not place a pillow ¬†under your knee when you are resting.
  • Wear the knee brace with no range of motion limits, at all times with the brace locked in full extension (knee straight) while you are ambulating (walking around with crutches).

C. Pain Management Protocol:

  • You will be discharged with an Antibiotic to prevent infection, pain medicine, Utram/Norco or Vicoden for post-op management of any pain and inflammation that is present. If you experience stomach upset, please call our office immediately.
  • Use the CPM machine and Ice machine continuously. Note: If an ice machine is not provided, you may use ice bags as a substitute; just make sure you keep the surgical dressing/sutures dry. Ice should be applied for 20 minutes on every hour.
  • Use the muscle stimulation unit for swelling and pain management as directed. If you have any questions, please call our office at 1-866-591-4844.


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