Once awake, (either in the recovery room or the Same Day Surgery room), you can begin the pre-operative exercises in which you have been instructed. You can do no damage by moving your knee. Most important, you need to achieve full knee extension and flexion.
You will need to use your crutches (as instructed in physical therapy) for the new few days/weeks. You may place some weight on your operative side. The ideal is to put enough weight on that side without experiencing pain. Remember! If you walk with a limp, then you need your crutches!
You may remove the ace-wrap the following day unless instructed to keep it on. Leave the cotton dressing on for 24 hours after surgery. You may not get the dressing wet. All dressings may be removed by 36 hours after surgery.
Place over the white steri-strips or sutures on your incisions plain band-aids. Do not remove the steri-strips. If there is any fluid or blood still leaking out of the wounds, cover them with clean gauze.
Once the cotton dressing is removed and the wounds are dry, without drainage, you may shower. As a precaution, you might want to place a plastic wrap or covering over your knee.
You may place a large bag of ice or frozen vegetables (for example, peas) or Cryotherapy Unit to better conform to the knee. Keep this on for 20-30 minutes at a time each hour. You may use the ice as frequently as you wish and for as many days after your surgery as long as you have swelling and pain. In general, use at this frequency as long as it is effective.
You will be given prescriptions for pain-relief medications. Use the medications as instructed since you may have some pain. If extreme pain persists or is not controlled by medication, call the office.
You may experience some nausea after your surgery, especially if you had general anesthesia. This is a normal response for some people following surgery. It usually subsides within 24 hours after surgery. Eating bland foods and sips of fluids often is helpful. After receiving spinal/epidural anesthesia you may encounter severe headaches. These rarely occur, but if you experience this, call the office immediately should they persist (201) 343-1717.
When resting, try to keep your knee as straight as possible. Do not place pillows beneath your knee keeping it resting in a bent position, but rather place pillows such that the leg is elevated in a straight position. A bent knee gets stiff and it becomes more difficult to move and straighten. If anything, keep a small towel beneath your heel to keep your knee straight.
Call Dr. Longobardi’s office for a follow-up appointment as instructed (201) 343-1717.
Begin your post operative physical therapy program within three (3) or five (5) days of surgery, as instructed. Begin home exercise program as soon as possible.