How can I manage pain and swelling after ACL reconstruction surgery?

In the first days after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery, your leg will be swollen and you will have a thick dressing covering your surgical wounds. Below are a few tips that will help you manage pain and swelling:
  • Take pain medication as prescribed. When you leave the hospital, your pain should be under good control. Your doctor may give you a prescription for pain medication to take at home. Take your pain medication as soon as you need it. Don't wait for the pain to get too bad. Don't take any pain medication that your doctor has not prescribed. Don't drink alcohol while taking pain medication.
  • Elevate your leg. For the first two days, keep your leg elevated above your heart. Lie flat and use pillows to prop up your knee.
  • Use ice as directed by your doctor to relieve pain and swelling. Your doctor may recommend a special ice machine.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.