For a downloadable copy of the Post-Operative Instructions Following Arthroscopic ACL/PCL Reconstruction click here.
After General Anesthesia
1. Do not drive, operate machinery, consume alcohol, tranquilizers or sign legal documents for 24 hours or as long as you are taking narcotic pain medication.
2. Do not plan on going to work or school for several days, go home and rest.
3. Begin with clear fluids and light foods and then progress your diet as tolerated. It is usually best to avoid heavy, greasy or spicy food the day of surgery.
4. Narcotics cause constipation, so increase the amount of fluids you drink along with fiber and fruit in your diet. Some over the counter medications to prevent or treat constipation are Metamucil, Citrucel, Colace, and DDS. You can also drink warm prune juice.
5. It is important to eat some food every time you take narcotic pain medications (even in the middle of the night). If you don’t, you are more likely to have nausea. Usually a few crackers, some pudding, applesauce or a banana will suffice.
6. Some anesthetics can cause urinary retention. If you are having trouble emptying your bladder or have not urinated for eight hours after the anesthetic please call Dr. Khalfayan.
7. You can always reach Dr. Khalfayan - day or night by calling 206-386-2600. After hours, the answering service will page Dr. Khalfayan.
Dressings and Incision care
1. Keep the dressings and incisions dry. Keep everything on until your first post-operative visit 3-4 days after your surgery. That is when we will change your dressings. We will take out your stitches and get x-rays at your second post-op appointment one week later. You will start physical therapy after your first post- op visit.
2. You may shower with a cast bag (available at pharmacies) or a large plastic bag covering the entire leg and brace so that the dressings do not become wet during the first several days. If the dressings become wet you may change them and apply sterile gauze and a new ace wrap.
Weight Bearing Status
This varies based on other procedures that are done at the time of reconstruction. You will be partial weight bearing with crutches, using ______ percent of body weight.
1. Before you leave the surgery center you will be instructed on the proper use of crutches.
2. You will be in a brace that should be kept on at all times. You may undo the straps to apply ice to your knee.
3. Apply ice or a cooling pad for 20 minutes every 1-2 hours while awake and elevate the knee above the heart to help with pain and swelling. Do not keep ice on continuously. When elevating the knee, place pillows under your ankle or calf, not under your knee. Avoid prolonged walking or standing. If your pain or swelling increases, stop your activity.
4. To help maintain circulation and muscle tone in your leg move your ankle and toes up and down every 30 minutes while you are awake until you are more active.
1. Once you are released from the surgery center start taking the pain medication on a regular schedule. When your pain is well controlled, take the pain medication as needed.
2. It is best to take the pain medication at the earliest sign of pain instead of waiting for it to worsen. The medication works best if you elevate and the swelling is kept to a minimum.
3. If you are running low on your medication please contact Dr. Khalfayan Monday-Friday 9am -5pm at 206-386-2600, dial 0 and ask for his assistant, Devan. If you wait until the end of the day you may not get a refill that day. Please do not wait until Friday afternoon as we may not be able to fill your prescription until Monday. Over the weekend, the on-call physician WILL NOT CALL IN MEDICATION REFILLS. Percocet cannot be called in to your pharmacy; you will need to have someone pick up a written prescription.
4. DO NOT take Aspirin or any anti-inflammatory medication (Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Aleve or Naprosyn) unless specifically told by Dr. Khalfayan.
Symptoms to report immediately
1. Excessive bleeding or draining, especially bright red bleeding that soaks all the way through your dressing (a little bleeding or pinkish drainage is ok on the bandage).
2. Excessive swelling not relieved by resting, elevation and ice.
3. Excessive or unbearable pain (unable to sleep, eat or hold a conversation)
4. Itching accompanied by hives, welts or a rash, which may be an allergic reaction.
5. Flu-like symptoms (nausea, general body aches, chills, or a temperature over 101 degrees) for longer than 24 hours may be a sign of infection.
6. Calf pain
7. If you experience shortness of breath or chest pain, CALL 911