ACL Surgery Recovery – Day 2 – ACL Surgery Pain

Day 2 is going to be the start of my post operative ACL recovery exercises. But the most important thing today is to control the ACL Surgery Pain. First thing today I returned to the clinic and had the drain removed before Tracy and I drove the 1 hr home. For the next few weeks during my ACL surgery recovery my home base is in the living room. Today was also the first day where I have started some post operative acl surgery recovery exercises including….

  • Ankle pumps
  • Ankle circles
  • Heels slides
  • Quadriceps setting
  • Straight leg raising

I will create some videos tomorrow showing how I go about and complete each of these exercises.

ACL Surgery Day 2

My Right Knee on Morning of Day 2

ACL Surgery Pain Management

To maintain the low pain level I have been lucky enough to have I have set up a series of alarms to keep me regularly taking the medication.

Percocet & Tylenol Extra Strength – I have 1 alarm which goes off every 4 hours when I take 1 percocet and 1 extra strength tylenol. This has changed from yesterday when I was taking 2 percocet but they mess up my head too much.

Oxycotin – I also have 1 alarm which goes off every 8 hours which is when I take 1 oxycotin pill.

By maintaining a regular timing of all the medication I have found the pain to be much more manageable than my first surgery when I would take it whenver the pain came which was always too late. Hopefully I will begin cutting back on the pain medication a few days into the ACL surgery recovery.

“After surgical reconstruction of the ACL, most people tell us that the first two weeks is really quite a painful period, and we don’t try and hide that from the patient. We try and control that with pain medications, with frequent application of ice and (with) compressive garments to get the swelling in the knee down.” Source

ACL Surgery Pain Medication

ACL Surgery Pain Medication

The Top 5 At Home Exercises
I did that helped get me walking 4 days after surgery

Click Here to see the exercises


  1. I just had L ACL repair. I had a block for the first 36 hours which helped the pain. I have trouble with Lortabs and have been taking just a Tylenol with Codiene when I can’t stand the pain. It is hard to do the exercises because of the pain but I am concerned about too much pain med and sleeping too much. How long did you have to take Pain medication during your recovery and when did you get off of narcotics? Is it normal to feel like you have a catch in your leg that creates pain? sometimes I cannot even hold my leg up it throbs so much. Any comments of pain med info would be appreciated. Thanks

  2. sarah hautzinger says:

    I am on day 12 after surgery, and though I stopped narcotics initially on something like day 5 (so I could drive, mostly; I was already walking) and was managing with alternating Ibuprofen and Aspirin, in the last few days I have felt a bit more pain (aching more than sharp, associated with some swelling, looks like) and have gone back to a Percocet or Vicodin to help me sleep though the night. I wonder if others have had this resurgence of pain, further out?

  3. Zoronqueen says:

    Had my surgery June 10/11. Fortunately my leg only has slight throbing so plain tylenol is good enough. Unfortunatley my back is killing me.

  4. Romannole says:

    I am two days out of my second ACL/Meniscus surgery on my left leg and just found your website. Thank you very much for the information, tips and even motivation. These first 48 hours have been pretty tough. Pain seems to come in waves and I feel like the post-surgery bandage is actually causing more discomfort. I will be able to take it off this afternoon and look forward to that. I’ll be sure to follow your posts as I progress over the weeks and months. Again, thanks for making your experiences available to myself and others who are recovering from this procedure.

  5. Hi, i went through Acl surgery on 7/09/2011 and it went pretty well. Writng this on 11/09/2011 i have a concern. From my shin to my ankle my leg is numb. I can feel my knee and when the operated area is itchy then i can feel it but i cant feel my lower leg. Is this normal or has something gone wrong?

  6. Mohsan – in response to your question, I actually had 2 ACL surgeries (same knee) 10 & 9 years ago. I still cant feel the front of my leg from my kneecap to about halfway down the leg. Doctor said it was because they have to cut through nerves to get to the tissue and its normal. Other people who have had the surgery do get feeling back, so I guess it varies.

  7. Just had my surgery for my right acl this thursday 9/29/11. They did a reconstruction with a patela graph. Spent the first 24 hours in the hospital and pain was moderate at times but was helped greated from the nerve block and pain pump. Now i’m at home and the worst part is not being able to move my right leg. Have learned how to get to the bathroom and back to bed with the least amount of pain possible after two days. Pain comes and goes but usualy happened when someone helps me move my knee into my CPM. The first day I started at 41 degrees of motion and by the start of day two i’m at 48 degrees. I’ve been staying on a strict schedual for pain medications and have been trying to ice as much as possible.

  8. Thanks Tonia

  9. Hello,

    This is normal I’m currently 6 days post op from my ACL surgery & the numbness on the shin front of leg and itchiness is just the anesthesia wearing off.

  10. Day 2 after surgery, allot of pain and swelling. How often, and how long did you ice for. My back is also killing me. Any suggestions?

  11. Today is 11/24/2011 Thursday and is the my first day post ACL surgery, not being able to move my leg is killing me. I have also setup alarms to take the pain medications. They drained your knee you said on day 2 and they scheduled me to come back 6 days from initial surgery date, is this leg is so stiff I just wanna get some motion back.

  12. John Wiley says:

    I am 10 days after surgery to repair torn ACL and badly torn meniscus. The doctor has told me not to put weight on it for 4 weeks. I was just released to start bending it to 90 degrees max. When I bent it the side of my knee hurts badly( meniscus area ). Is that normal? Is it the same that you experienced? Any help would be great.


  13. My daughter had ACL surgery yesterday. She’s been in a moderate amount of pain which has been managed with 2 percocets every 4 hours. THe problem is extreme itchiness . She is taking Benedryl but it doesn’t seem to help