1. Rest on the day of surgery. You may feel dizzy, light-headed or sleepy, for 12-24 hours after your operation. This is perfectly normal. Move slowly, and be especially careful on stairs. You should not drive or operate any mechanical or electrical devices until this feeling has worn off. After a general anesthetic, it is normal to feel a generalized aching and to have sore muscles for 24-48 hours. A sore throat may also occur.
2. Resume diet gradually. Begin with clear liquids and progress if you are feeling hungry. Most patients become nauseated after taking pain pills, this is a common side effect. You can reduce this by taking your medication with a meal, trying just one tablet, or by splitting tablet in half.
3. Do not drink alcohol or sign any important papers for at least 24 hours.
4. You are responsible for managing your pain after discharge. The pain will be reduced by taking your pain medication on a schedule for the first few days after surgery as prescribed. You should know that a numbing medication is often injected into the joint after surgery. THIS WILL UNFORTUNATELY WEAR OFF SOME TIME WITHIN THE FIRST 24 HOURS. YOU MAY EXPERIENCE A DRAMATIC INCREASE OF PAIN IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ANY PAIN MEDICATION IN YOUR SYSTEM!!!!!!
5. It is common to have difficulty finding a comfortable sleeping position. I recommend trying to sleep with your foot elevated on a pillow or two. Do not place pillow under your knee. This helps with extension of your knee
6. Apply ice packs continuously for the first 48 hours, then as needed for comfort. Prepare ahead of your surgery and purchase at least 2 ice gel packs. I believe drug stores sell them for a reasonable price.
7. Report to your doctor any temperature elevations over 101 degrees or persistent nausea and vomiting. Mild temperature elevations are to be expected after surgery.
8. Keep all dressings clean and dry for the first 24 hours. See items checked below for further details.
9. Expect some drainage through the dressing for the first 24 hours. This is completely normal. The drainage is comprised mostly of the saline solution utilized during the procedure.
10. The movement of your knee will be based on your individual procedure.
FOLLOW ONLY THOSE ITEMS CHECKED BY YOUR SURGEON ON THE DAY OF SURGERY
- Keep knee immobilizer on at all times.
- Keep knee immobilizer on at all times unless you are doing your exercises.
- Discard immobilizer the morning following your surgery.
- You should use your leg as much as possible. Begin bending your knee gently and contracting quadriceps muscles 10-20 times/5 times daily.
- Ankle rotations are also important and should be done to promote circulation and decrease swelling.
- After 24 hours, remove all dressings from the wound site and replace with Band-Aids.
- Keep your incisions covered and dry until you are seen in clinic.