The time period after a confirmed ACL tear and prior to surgery is an important one. During this time, you have an opportunity to prepare your knee and body for surgery, minimize the effect of your injury, and prepare for successful recovery and rehabilitation after knee surgery.
This video series will guide you through four important steps to help you prepare for surgery: swelling control, range of motion improvement, strength building, and normalization of walking pattern.
Swelling Control: R.I.C.E.
- R – Rest: Your knee will likely not tolerate the same levels and amount of time spent doing certain activities that you're used to. You'll likely need to spend more time off your feet prior to surgery.
- I – Ice: Ice can be used to both control swelling and pain. We recommend using ice for 15-20 minutes multiple times per day if swelling or pain in your knee persists.
- C – Compression: Compression is a great way to minimize swelling, especially if you'll be up on your feet for a longer period of time. We recommend using some type of compressive wrap (compression garment, surgical tubing, ace wrap, or knee sleeve) while moving around during the day. You should feel gentle compression when your wrap is on.
- E – Elevation: When resting, make the most of your time spent off your feet by elevating your knee and foot above the level of your heart. This can help minimize swelling and also reduce pain. Using ice and compression while your knee and foot are elevated can aid in the effectiveness. Again, elevate for 15-20 minutes, 3 to 5 times per day, if possible.