Post-Op Instructions: Knee Surgery
Medications commonly prescribed (Prescription given to patient)
Oxycodone/acetaminophen – 10 mg/325 (Percocet®)Take as directed for pain (with food)
Oxycodone Hydrochloride – 10 mg (OxyContin®)Take as directed for pain (with food)
Oxycodone – 5mgTake as directed for pain (with food)
Promethazine (Phenergan®)Take as directed for nausea
Ondansetron (Zofran®)Take as directed for nausea
Advance diet as tolerated.
Constipation is common with the use of pain medication. You can ward off constipation by increasing both dietary fiber and water intake. One tablespoon of milk of magnesia is effective and can be taken one or twice daily.
Rest with the knee elevated above the heart.
Use crutches – weight bearing status will be reviewed after surgical procedure
Keep dressings clean and dry for 3 days after surgery. You may then remove the dressing, apply waterproof bandages, and shower. After showering, replace the waterproof bandages with dry ones. No soaking or scrubbing, no bath, no swimming, no hot tubs, etc.
Apply an ice pack to the knee to minimize pain and swelling.
Use Cryo/Cuff®, PolarCare™, or Game Ready® as directed.
Post-operative Follow up
Dr Klimkiewicz routinely calls you the day following your surgery. He will review the procedure with special precautions as they pertain to your procedure.
Dr Klimkiewicz will want to see you in the office typically 7-10 days after your procedure. If you do not already have a post-op appointment, please call our office at (202) 787-5601 or email his medical assistant at Drk.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call your surgeon if
You develop a fever above 101 degrees.
The pain is severe and unrelieved with medication.
You have any questions or problems.
The subtle effects of general anesthesia or sedation with regional/local anesthesia can last more than 24 hours. Rest on the day of surgery. Although you may feel normal, your reflexes and mental ability may be impaired. You may feel dizzy, lightheaded, or sleepy for 24 hours or longer. Do not consume alcohol, drive, operate machinery, or make important personal or business decisions for 24 hours. After a general anesthetic, it is normal to feel generalized aching and sore muscles for 24 hours. A sore throat may occur.
Frequently Asked Questions
There is no right or wrong answer to this question.
Ice helps with the swelling and can help to decrease pain after surgery. For the first few days after the surgery, “the more, the better.” Ice for approximately 30 minutes 3–5 times per day. The first night and first day following surgery, you should ice as much as possible.
Yes, it will. It might not feel like it, but it does.
No. There are many layers under the tape.
Don’t worry; due to the shape of our legs, this does happen. You may want to try to pull it back into place. You may want to unwrap the ace wrap bandage and reapply it. If it has been a couple of days, you may remove the dressing and cover the incisions with large band-aids, then reapply the ace wrap. The ace wrap will help keep the brace from chafing your skin. Prior to this, please wash your hands, and don’t mess with the incisions.
Keep the operative dressing in place for the first 3 days. After that, you may follow the above instructions. We recommend removing the dressing, placing large band-aids over the incisions, and then reapplying the ace wrap.
For the first 3 days, keep the dressings clean and dry when you shower. No baths. After that, you may shower like normal but do not soak the incisions (no bath, pool, lake or ocean) until after your first post-op appointment. You will need to cover the dressing (and brace if you have one) to keep it dry while in the shower. There are a variety of ways to do this. Wrap the leg with plastic wrap (e.g., Saran™ Wrap, Glad® Wrap, etc.) above and below the dressing. You may also use a plastic bag with tape or a rubber band.
The pain medicine doesn’t last long enough, but the bottle says “take every 3–4 hours.” Can I take it more often?
People vary in how much and how often they need to take pain medicine. Pain pills take a good 30–45 minutes to be absorbed and start giving pain relief. Try to anticipate and stay ahead of the pain for the first several days after surgery.
Don’t be a clock-watcher. If the pain medicine only lasts 2.5 hours instead of 3–4 hours like the bottle says, simply take it a little more often. If you are in pain, take medicine. Don’t suffer. Some people never take a pain pill after surgery and other patients take them for a week or so. We are all different. If you have a history of drug or alcohol use, you will probably find that you will require more medications.
Pain medicine is mixed with Tylenol® so do not take any additional Tylenol®. You may take ibuprofen or naproxen along with the prescribed pain medication.
You may start the following week. If you have already seen a therapist before surgery, or know where we plan to start therapy after surgery, we suggest setting up appointments in advance. Most of the therapy places are very busy, so setting up your appointments in advance will allow you more choice of times to attend.
While you are taking pain medication, do not drive.
Remember that you may have aches and pains in different parts of your body after surgery.
If you have a history of serious medical problems and start having difficulty breathing, chest pain, etc., please call our office and/or your primary care doctor, present to a local emergency room, or call 9-1-1.
Dr Klimkiewicz is accessible during normal business hours through the main number (202) 787-5601 and routinely answers his emails first thing in the morning daily. You may reach him at email@example.com.