• Begin with clear liquids and lighter foods (Jello, soups, etc.)
  • May progress to general diet as tolerated

Wound Care:

  • All bandages should be left in place for the first 24 hours following surgery unless otherwise specified. Dressings will be changed by your physical therapist post-op day one. They will place waterproof bandages over the white paper tapes (steri-strips) these are to be left in place and will be changed by your therapist at each visit. To avoid infection keep incisions clean and dry- you may shower by placing plastic-wrap around the knee and water-proof bandages (we have found that Press-n-seal works best)
  • It is normal for the knee to bleed and swell following surgery- if blood soaks onto the bandages, do not be alarmed-reinforce with additional dressings
  • Do not take baths, swim or sit in a hot tub/Jacuzzi. Immersion of the surgical site is to be avoided

Pain medication, Pain control, Ice Therapy:

  • Pain medication is injected into the wound and knee during surgery- this will wear off within 8-12 hours after surgery. Therefore, you will have little pain the day of surgery. Post-op days two and three you will swell and pain will increase. Most patients will require some narcotic pain medication for a short period of time- this will be provided to you and can be taken as per directions on the bottle. Common side effects include; nausea, drowsiness and constipation- to decrease the side effects, take medication with food. If constipation occurs, consider taking over the counter laxatives. Do not drive or operate machinery while taking pain medication.
  • Most patients will require some narcotic pain medication for a short period of time- this will be provided to you and can be taken as per directions on the bottle
  • Ibuprofen 200-400mg (ie. Advil) may be used between narcotic pain medication to help smooth out post operative peaks and valleys, reduce overall narcotic pain medication use, and decrease in frequency of narcotic pain medicine usage.
  • Ice Therapy is used to control pain and swelling post surgery and should begin immediately after surgery
    • Game Ready or Polar Care ice machine will be provided to you
    • These machines are to be used around the clock, the first 48-72 hours. After the first 48-72 hours, ice intermittently. Regular ice is to be applied for 20 min every 2-4 hours until your first post-operative visit.
  • Remember to keep leg elevated to level of the chest while icing


  • Do not engage in any activity which increases pain or swelling. (lifting or repetitive activities) over the first week to two weeks following surgery. Avoid long periods of sitting, standing or long distance travel for 2 weeks.
  • Elevate the operative leg to chest level whenever possible to decrease swelling
  • DO NOT place pillows under the knee! Pillows are to be placed under the foot/ankle to maintain your extension
  • Use crutches to assist with walking- you are able to bear as much weight as tolerated on the operative leg unless instructed otherwise
  • May return to sedentary work or school 3-4 days after surgery, if pain is tolerable


  • Your brace should be worn fully extended (straight) at all times. It may be removed at night if uncomfortable or until otherwise informed by the physician.
  • Brace may be removed for all therapy exercises- if weight bearing, brace should be on unless advised by your therapist or physician


  • Begin exercise the day of surgery- straight leg raises, quad-sets and ankle pumps
  • Discomfort and knee stiffness is normal for a few days following surgery- it is safe and, in fact, preferable to bend your knee (unless otherwise instructed)
  • Complete exercises 2-3 times daily until your first post-operative visit – goals of full extension (straightening) and 90° of flexion (bending) at your first post-operative visit
  • Do ankle pumps continuously throughout the day to reduce the possibility for a blood clot in your calf (extremely uncommon)
  • Formal physical therapy (PT) will begin post-operative day one (next day following surgery)


    • Contact Dr. Chams 847-247-4000 or his on-call physician assistant at 224-645-0815 if any of the following occur.
      • Painful swelling or numbness
      • Unrelenting pain
      • Fever of 101.5 deg. or greater. (It is common to have low grade fever following surgery).
      • Increased redness around incision sites
      • Continuous drainage or bleeding from incisions
      • Difficulty in breathing
      • Excessive nausea or vo