The following was taken from ACL reconstruction surgery post-op instructions given to me by Singapore General Hospital.
- The straps of the knee brace should be tightened so as to ensure that the brace does not slip when walking.
- It should be worn continuously for the first six weeks, including wearing it to sleep. The brace should only be removed for the purpose of showering or exercising/icing.
- Do not wear the ice pack wit your brace.
- Crutches are issued to assist with walking. They should be used for a minimum period of 2 weeks – your therapist will advise you on the progression of crutch walking.
- Apply an ice pack to your knee for 15 – 20 mins after each exercise session (3 times a day). Continue to ice at regular intervals through the day if your knee feels warm to touch (compared with the other side) or if you feel pain.
- It is normal for your knee to be slightly swollen after the operation. This can be controlled by regular icing, keeping your leg in an elevated position, use of a compressed bandage and by avoiding excessive walking.
- First 3 months: Early post-operative management, strengthening and rehabilitation.
- From 3 months: Functional rehabilitation, with a gradual return to sports between 6 to 9 months from date of surgery.
Your therapist will guide you through an individualized rehabilitation program based on your rehabilitation goals and expectations. You will need to commit time to attend therapy sessions, as well as to work on your home exercises – successful outcome of the surgery is dependent on this. Do discuss any difficulties you may have with your therapist or doctor.