Postop Knee Multi Ligament Surgery
Moving Your Knee:
You will receive specific instructions regarding movement of your knee at the conclusion of surgery.You may be asked to use a CPM (“continuous passive motion” machine). Please follow instructions for degrees of flexion and extension given by your surgeon. Use the CPM for a minimum of 6 hours per day. You may remove your brace while using the CPM, but the brace should otherwise be worn at ALL times. Always use the brace locked in extension for walking. The brace may be unlocked and knee moved gently while you are seated. You will participate in physical therapy. The timing of therapy will be clarified in your appointments following surgery.
You may start doing straight leg lifts right away. While lying in bed with the brace locked in extension, lift your leg off of the bed. Hold it up for a count of 5. Do this 10 times, and repeat three times a day. It will be difficult at first, but don’t give up, even just flexing your quad muscle without lifting your leg is helping make your leg stronger. You should do ankle pumps throughout the day to help reduce swelling and prevent a blood clot.
Please note that with the dressings placed during surgery, you may notice decreased benefit from the ice. Use as needed and if you notice benefit. Ice is most helpful in the first 3 days after surgery, but can help up to 2 weeks after surgery. We do not recommend that you use heat, as this can increase swelling.
If you chose to purchase a commercial ice machine, please use it according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
If you chose not to purchase an ice machine, you may use a commercially available ice bag or fill a large plastic bag with ice and water. (Do not place a plastic bag directly on your skin, but place a towel on your knee in between your skin and the ice bag.) You can ice your knee 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off throughout the day. Do not ice an area longer than 30 minutes at a time, as this can cause frost bite.
You may remove your bandages and shower three days after surgery. If you have white Steri Strips, DO NOT remove them. It is OK to get your incisions wet after the bandage is removed, but it is very important not to soak the incision underwater (no bath, pool, hot tub etc…) for 3 weeks. It is OK to wash the incisions gently with soap and gently pat dry with a towel. Do not place any lotion or other ointment on your incisions. You may cover them with Band-Aids for comfort if they catch on your clothing.
Narcotic pain medicine (such as Percocet – oxycodone, Norco – hydrocodone, or Tylenol#3 – Codeine): We will prescribe a different medication if you cannot take these. Take this AS NEEDED only. Do not take additional Tylenol (also called acetaminophen) with these medicines, as they already have Tylenol in them. You may SUBSTITUTE Tylenol for a narcotic pill if you choose to. Be certain that you do not exceed the maximum Tylenol dose as noted on the Tylenol bottle.
- Stool softener: Pain medicines often cause constipation. It is best to take this medicine when you start taking narcotics and before you have a problem.
- Ecotrin (stomach-protective aspirin): To be taken for 6 weeks for prevention of blood clots.
- Zofran (ondansetron): You may take this medication if you are having nausea or vomiting.
- Robaxin (methocarbamol): This muscle relaxer may help with spasms experienced commonly after knee arthroscopy.
- Omegapure, Synovx, Xcellent C: These medications aide in joint and cartilage health and recovery. Please refer to your surgeon’s recommendations for pharmacy locations.
You will also use SCDs (sequential compression devices) following surgery. These squeeze your legs, and are further protection against blood clots. In some cases, Lovenox (an injectable blood thinner) may also be prescribed.
You should have a follow-up appointment with your surgeon in about 2 weeks. You will also have an additional visit with the Physician’s Assistant within a few days of your surgery. Call (480) 964-2908 right away if you do not have an appointment already scheduled. We will check your incisions and remove any sutures at the 2-week visit. We will also answer any specific questions you may have about your surgery. You will be referred for Physical Therapy if this has not been arranged, as PT is very important after knee surgery.
Call our office at (480) 964-2908 with any urgent or emergent questions or concerns that you may have, or if you develop swelling in your leg with calf pain, swelling that will not go away when you elevate your leg, a temperature above 101.4, or drainage from your incisions.
If you experience any of these symptoms: go to an Emergency Department close to your house: High fever (above 102.5), chest pain, difficulty breathing, fainting, or bleeding.