1. You have just undergone major knee ligamentous reconstruction surgery and our initial goal will be to control your discomfort and increase your range of motion as well as keep the swelling of your knee to a minimum. You will be using two different machines for this purpose.
  2. The Polar Care device comes with a pad that will circulate cold water through the pad helping to decrease the amount of swelling around the knee. The pad may be used on a continuous basis and should be used on a twenty-four hour basis for the first three days. Following this time, this may be used on an as needed basis, but patients do report that using this pad does help for the first two weeks. The pad may be wrapped in the ace bandage and used in conjunction with the Continuous Passive Motion machine.
  3. The other machine that you will be using is a Continuous Passive Motion machine (CPM), which is used to increase your range of motion progressively. Use the CPM three times a day (morning, afternoon, evenings) for 30-60 minutes each session. This also decreases the amount of pain that you will be having post-operatively. The initial settings will be full extension (0 degrees – your knee straight) to 45 degrees of flexion (your knee is bent). You should increase the amount of flexion by 5 to 10 degrees every day.
  4. The knee brace that was placed at the time of surgery may be removed when you are resting and using the CPM. You should use the brace at all times when you are weight bearing and out of bed or out of a resting position. The brace should fit in a very snug position with the hinges located at the knee joint when the brace is reapplied.
  5. You should use crutches when you are moving around and in a weight-bearing position. You may place as much weight on the operated knee as tolerated. Initially, this will be sore and uncomfortable, but will slowly decrease.
  6. The bandage may be removed and a new bandage may be applied at home using gauze or large band-aids. The waterproof bandages can also be purchased (Longs, Payless, etc.) and are called Tegaderm (3-M) and Bio-Occlusive Dressing (Johnson & Johnson).
  7. Please use the medications as prescribed, which will control the inflammation and discomfort.
  8. Exercise your ankles by moving the ankle and foot in circles as well as moving the hip from side to side. We will begin a postoperative three-phase knee rehabilitation program shortly after the sutures are removed.
  9. I will see you in one to two weeks’ time following the surgery for a wound evaluation and a general check-up. Keep the incisions dry until you are seen in the office.
  10. Emphasize full extension of the knee when exercising.