Recommendations AFTER a knee surgery

Surgical dressing
The bandage placed on the surgical wounds might become humid or slightly dampen with blood. It can be normal because some physiological fluids are generated during surgery and the following days. However, in case you observe that the bandage become really wet of these fluids and blood, you must go to the emergency department.

In case you were operated on with an arthroscopic technique, you can have a shower as soon as after 5 days from surgery. Then, you must dry the wound and apply an iodine solution with a sterile compress fixed with a medical tape.

In case of a longer surgical incision, it does not have to get wet directly under a shower for the first 7 to 10 days, and must be protected with a waterproof plastic bag. In case the wound get wet accidentally, please take out the bandage, dry the surgical wound with a sterile compress and finally cover it with another sterile gauze dampen with iodine solution. Then fix it with a medical tape.

Although the recommended level and kind of activity depends on the type of surgery, avoiding excessive movements during the first few days is mandatory. This will decrease the likelihood of swelling and pain.  Perform only the recommended exercises, several times per day. The goals for the first days after surgery are to restore full knee extension and to start with knee flexion and quadriceps muscle strengthening.

Pain control
One notices that the knee is sore and swollen the first few days. To improve this, the recommendation is to:

  • Keep the leg elevated as much as possible.
  • Apply ice for 15 minutes 4 or 5 times a day.
  • Take the recommended anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs.
  • Use medication prescribed as rescue if there is severe pain.

Slight and short fever during the first 2 to 3 days after surgery is very frequent. It does mean you have got an infection. However, if a fever higher than 37.8ºC persist after 4 or 5 days, please go to the Emergency department or call us. The same must be done if the level of pain can not be controlled with the prescribed medications or also if you find the skin surrounding the surgical wound red, hot and considerably swollen and painful.

Driving a vehicle
You can normally drive a car again once you have a painless knee with a good range of motion. You must consider tat an agile knee is necessary to react according to the different traffic situations. You might first try a short drive in a quiet area before resuming a normal driving activity.

Sexual activity
You can resume you sexual activity as soon as you feel ready to.