This protocol is intended to be a general outline only. The physician reserves the right to either advance or delay this protocol as deemed necessary. If so, this should be done by direct communication with the therapist, or in writing on the therapy referral form given to the patient on the day of surgery.

General Guidelines for Crutches and TROM Brace

  • Bilateral axillary crutches to be used immediately post-op, TROM brace locked in extension. TDWB for first 8 weeks. TROM brace to be worn for all ADL’s including sleeping and bathing. May remove for physical therapy.

  • At Week 8: Advance to FWB with knee locked in extension WBAT, then gradually wean off crutches. Unlock knee hinge on TROM for everyday use when patient can perform SLR without quad lag and maintains full knee extension at rest. Discharge TROM once patient has a normal gait pattern. May remove TROM for Sleeping.


  • SLR’s are not to be done until 6 weeks in TROM brace locked in extension.

Guidelines for Wound Care

  • Place occlusive dressing over steri-strips at wound sites at first visit. Change occlusive dressing every other day, leaving steri-strips on unless they come off easily. Cover old steri-strips with new ones if needed.

  • Keep wound sites covered with occlusive dressing until stitches are removed. After that, cover with standard adhesive bandages until wounds are fully healed (wrap knee in plastic wrap for showers).

Day 1 Post-Op

  • Remove bulky dressings. Leave steri-strips on; place occlusive dressing over all portals and incisions.

  • Discard post-op immobilizer if used. Issue TROM brace.

  • Patient is to maintain TDWB until Week 8.

  • Provide patient with home e-stim unit to be used while doing quad sets.

  • Initiate prone hangs or heel prop to encourage full knee extension if needed.

  • Quad sets

  • Gastroc / Hamstring stretching (to be performed in NWB position)

  • Ankle pumps / elastic band ankle exercises

  • Frequent icing using “Game Ready” machine or Cryocuff for first 48 hours

Week 1-4: Patient to be seen 1x/week

ROM Guidelines: Knee flexion no greater than 45 degrees supine