Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Repair

Care After

Please read the instructions outlined below and refer to this sheet in the next few weeks. These discharge instructions provide you with general information on caring for yourself after you leave the hospital. Your caregiver may also give you specific instructions. While your treatment has been planned according to the most current medical practices available, unavoidable complications occasionally occur. If you have any problems or questions after discharge, please call your caregiver.


  • You may resume normal diet and activities as directed or allowed.

  • Keep ice packs (a bag of ice wrapped in a towel) on the surgical area for 15 to 20 minutes, 3 to 4 times per day, for the first 2 days following surgery.

  • Change dressings if necessary or as directed.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

  • Use crutches as directed and do not exercise leg unless instructed.

  • Keep appointments as directed.


  • You develop redness, swelling, or increasing pain in the wound or wounds.

  • You have increased pain with movement of the knee.

  • There is any pus or unusual drainage coming from wound.

  • You develop an unexplained oral temperature above 102° F (38.9° C).

  • You notice a bad smell coming from the wound or dressing.

  • The incision breaks open (edges don't stay together) after sutures or staples have been removed.