The most commonly asked question that people going into ACL surgery ask is about how to minimize the amount of pain they will be in during the first week after ACL surgery. After having had surgery twice and doing many mistakes I have learned a few thing about the process and how someone can best prepare themselves for surgery. My advice to you is to follow the tips below on how to reduce pain after the surgery. Some will work better than others but if you follow the tips below I hope you can experience a not very painful week.
1. Take Medication Regularly
The best thing you can do to ensure that the pain you feel after ACL surgery is minimal is to take your prescribed medication at fixed intervals. By making sure you stay ahead of the pain you will be much more capable of controlling the level of pain you reach. For me I set a few timers and when they went of I would take the medication, even if I wasnt in very much pain I would always take it to ensure I was staying ahead of the pain. One of the most common mistakes with the medication is not taking the medication at night, this is a problem because when you are woken up by the pain it will be too late and its difficult to get the pain back under control.
Ice serves several purposes after knee surgery including reducing the swelling and helping to control the pain level in the knee. You will likely be using an ice cuff or similar and icing 20min on and 20 minutes off will help to reduce the swelling and pain.
Its important to make sure you are resting you knee enough, there is a fine line between too much rest and not enough. Make sure that for the first few days you have yourself a comfortable spot around a TV or computer and will be able to rest and relax there.
The swelling in the knee leads to pain in the knee and its because of this that it is important for us to elevate our knee in the first week after ACL surgery. When it comes to elevation make sure that your knee is above your heart, wheter you are lying perfectly horizonal on a bed or with your back supported on a couch make sure your knee is above you heart. Another item to note with having you knee elevated make sure it is not always bent as this will make it more difficult to increase your knees range of motion.
Although too much compression will eventually cause some discomfort in the knee making sure you knee has some compression will help reduce the swelling and pain. The best way to apply compression ois with the sock you likely got after surgery which applies a constant modest pressure. The other option is with your cryo cuff filled with water it will apply a pressure.
6. Improve Range of Motion
The range of motion in your knee can reduce the pain in your knee the first week after surgery for one main reason and that is that when youre range of motion is low every movement with your knee can cause pain. But, if you are able to increase your knees range of motion than you will not be caused significant amount of pain every time you do slight movements.
7. Begin Walking
Progressing through your ACL surgery recovery and advancing which phase you are in will help reduce your pain. For me I found as soon as I was able to walk in the first week after ACL surgery the pain in my knee greatly reduced.
How much pain should you expect?
The amount of pain I experienced after my first surgery was around a 7 the first night since I was not given medication for an 8hr period. For my latest ACL surgery I was at a 2-3 for most of the first week.
Do you have any suggestions at how to reduce your pain in the first week after ACL surgery?
The Top 5 At Home Exercises
I did that helped get me walking 4 days after surgery
Click Here to see the exercises