• 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 can be removed and changed the first day post op (next day after surgery). The white paper tapes (steri-strips) are to be left in place and waterproof bandages (band-aids) should be placed on top. It is normal for the knee to bleed and swell following surgery. If blood soaks onto the bandages, do not be alarmed, simply reinforce with additional dressings.
  • 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)
  • 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. 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
  • 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 frequency of narcotic pain medicine usage.
  • Post-op swelling can be controlled with use of the compression stocking (TED hose). Use this stocking as needed until swelling is controlled. Ice Therapy is used to control pain and swelling post surgery and should begin immediately after surgery.
  • 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 may bear full weight on the leg unless otherwise instructed by your physician
  • May return to sedentary work or school 3-4 days after surgery or sooner, if pain is tolerable


  • Begin exercise the day of surgery – at least 50 straight leg raises, quad-sets and ankle pumps must be performed. This will help decrease the amount of muscle atrophy after your procedure. Do ankle pumps continuously throughout the day to reduce the possibility for a blood clot in your calf (extremely uncommon). Complete exercises 2-3 times daily until your first post-operative visit – goals are full range of motion in extension (straightening) and flexion (bending) at your first post-operative visit. Formal physical therapy (PT) should begin the week of 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 vomiting

*** *** If you have an emergency after office hours or on the weekend, contact the physician assistant at 224-645-0815 or by email at