Prepare for ACL Surgery with a Pre ACL Surgery Checklist

I have been talking with some of the readers of this blog and they requested a list of the items I used to recover from ACL surgery. Based on those discussions I though it would be really helpful for me to create the definitive pre acl surgery checklist. This checklist should help anyone who has found out they will be having surgery on their knee and need to prepare. It covers both what medical supplies you should have as well as a few tips on how to handle food since you will likely be wanting to start eating a lot of food while you sit around at home.


Prepare for ACL Surgery!

The 3 Most Important Pre ACL Surgery Checklist Items (often overlooked!)…

3. Entertainmnet

Having some for of entertainment set up before your surgery will make your recovery much more enjoyable. Things like books, movies and tv shows on DVD will let the time pass much quicker and you will not suffer through daytime TV torture. I was lucky enough to have been given an iPad d for our wedding anniversary a couple months before my surgery.

One other tip is to watch “dumb” movies/shows right after surgery…I watched inception within the first 24hrs after surgery and was very lost!

2. Food

If you don’t want to get fat from sitting around after ACL surgery than I recommend you throw out all bad comfort food. Initially after surgery I had pre-prepared meals that were healthy and I surprisingly manage to lose weight after ACL surgery

1. Ice Cuff

This is the most important item for a quick ACL surgery recovery. The cryo cuff I used was simple and very effective at reducing swelling and pain. I highly recommend you make sure to order one and have it ready. Many surgeons will actually force you to have one.

Here is the cheapest online option I have been able to find for the Aircast Cryo Cuff I used

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

Click Here to see the exercises


  1. yo thanks man its good reinforcement to take it slow…i just hit week 4 today on my ACL recovery…patience is the best way to tackle this ..this isn’t my first surgery either

  2. t_Butte says:

    Great follow-up information. Wish I had your information with my first ACL surgery. Down right now with second. Am 3 days out from Right ACL reconstruction. A suggestion with regard to necessary items if on a budget, I was able to effectively manage icing with 3 clay cold packs and a bag if frozen peas if one didn’t make it back to the freezer in time. I opted instead for the CPM (Continuous Passive Motion) machine. The docs recommend minimum 9 hours in it, luckily I’ve been able to sleep in it with both surgeries. Up to about 100 deg. flexion and probably more if I push, but am also walking though still braced.
    Would also highly recommend forearm crutches and a med bath seat. Both have been a lifesaver and they can be found online pretty cheaply. A little mental reassurance while still a little wobbly!

  3. SKLz6196 says:

    What kinds of meals did you pre-prepare? I am having ACL surgery next week and planning to make some meals ahead of time, but I’m having trouble finding healthy recipes that also have some variety–everything I find online is either pasta or soup! Any suggestions?