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Knee & Shoulder Doctor

​​​​Post Operative Instructions for Knee Surgery

You have just had an arthroscopic operation. Even though your incisions (puncture sites) are small and should heal quickly, the structures inside your knee will take 6 to 8 Weeks to heal and settle down. If you use the knee too much during this healing period, the result of the operation may not be as good as it should be.

  1. ​Ice, Crutches and Immobilizer: Place a towel on your knee and then position ice on your knee and elevate your leg above the heart to reduce swelling for the first 72 hours (you can use a bag of frozen peas instead of a bag of ice). Your crutches and immobilizer will be used for six weeks to help protect your knee. You can apply full/partial weight to your leg as soon as you can do so comfortably or unless otherwise instructed.

  2. Dressings: The bandages on your knee are bulky to absorb any drainage that may come from your incision points. Change your dressings in two days and cover the incisions with Band-Aids. Usually you will have internal stitches in each incision with tape over the incisions. Leave the tape on the incisions; it will come off on its own.

  3. Showering: Keep the incisions dry for the first 7 days. You may start showering after your first post-op appointment with a plastic wrap covering the incision site. After 7 days you may shower without covering the incision, however DO NOT soak the incisions.

  4. Medication: You may be given up to four or more different medications, i.e.: sleep, antibiotics, pain, swelling and possibly nausea. You will be instructed how and when to take these medications. Be sure to take your first does of pain medication as soon as you are released from ambulatory surgery center to help reduce postoperative pain. You should also take your medication before your physical therapy. Refills will be given as needed. Call if there are any adverse reactions to your medications.

  5. Activity: You may bend and straighten your knee as soon as you can do so comfortably or unless otherwise instructed. Exercising your leg and foot will help to reduce the swelling, as long as you do not over do it.

  6. Exercising: Refer to your exercise sheet that is given with your discharge papers. Start your home program either tonight or in the morning, as comfort will allow. The most important initial exercise is straightening your leg after surgery. Your exercises will include quad sets, straight leg raises, toe raises, ankle pumps, alphabet range of motion exercises and heel slides. You can start riding an exercise bike with the seat high and resistance low in 5 to 7 days after surgery.​

    Exercise and weight bearing will be modified if there are any meniscal or cartilage repairs made.

  7. Office Follow-ups: You will return to the office within 3 to 5 days after surgery for a post operative exam. You should call the office at (713) 442-0000 prior to discharge from the ambulatory surgery center to schedule an appointment if not already arranged.

Please call the office (713) 442-0000 for the following reasons:

  • ​A temperature above 101 degrees after the first 2 days. (A temperature within the first 2 days of surgery may not be unusual)
  • Marked redness or continued swelling around the knee.
  • Excessive swelling of the calf, toes and or foot. Loosen the dressings around the knee and elevate the leg above the heart. Call the office if swelling continues.
  • Purulent draining or excessive bleeding from the incisions at the knee. A clear to pink discharge is normal for a few days.
  • Excessive pain not relieved by pain medication.

For questions or concerns, please call our office at (713) 442-0000 during office hours or (713) 42-4850 after hours. We will be glad to answer any questions that have not been covered. Call your pharmacy for prescription refills the day before you run out of medicine. Give the pharmacy the Kelsey-Seybold prescription refill number if necessary (713) 442-0272.
Anup Shah, M.D. 

Exercises After Arthroscopic K​nee Surgery

(Do each exercise twice daily)
  1. Ankle Pumps: Bend your ankle so your toes come up, and then bend your ankle so your toes point down. Repeat as recommended by your physician.

  2. Ankle Alphabet: Write the alphabet with your ankles.

  3. Heel slide: Lying on your back, slide your heel towards your bottom, and then slowly return to starting position. Repeat as recommended by your physician.

  4. Extension Stretch (very important): Prop the heel of your operated leg on a small pillow. Relax and let gravity stretch your leg into a straightened position. Maintain position for 20 to 30 minutes.

  5. Hamstring Set: Lying on your back, press your heel into the mat by tightening the muscles on the back of your thigh for 5 seconds then relax for 3 seconds. Repeat the recommended times by your physician.

  6. Quad Set: With your knee straight, tighten the muscle on the front of your thigh, hold for 5 second and then relax for 3 seconds. Repeat the recommended times by your physician.

  7. Gluteal Set: Squeeze your bottom together, hold for 5 seconds and then relax for 3 seconds. Repeat the recommended times by your physician.


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