When you leave the hospital you will be given specific wound-care instructions and discharge instructions for driving, activity level, medication, and any further restrictions necessary. Your healthcare provider will go over any emergency symptoms that require immediate medical attention.
Because knee pain is normal, you will be given pain medication. The pain is most intense during the first few days after surgery but should decrease quickly over the next one to three weeks.
You should expect to have your knee wrapped. Although you will be able to bear weight on the leg immediately, most patients use crutches while walking for the first couple of days. The crutches may be put aside as soon as you are comfortable. The ace wrap can be removed in two to three days but most doctors prefer to remove it themselves on your first post-operative visit.
Also make sure to keep your knee dry for at least five days after the procedure, as this will decrease your risk of developing a serious infection.
You should expect to see your doctor for your first follow-up visit about 7 to 10 days after the surgery. If stiches were used, they will be removed at that time and an exercise program will be started. You have the option of doing exercises by yourself or with a physical therapist. This will depend upon your ability to perform the rehabilitation exercises in a safe and progressive manner.
The length of the recovery period will vary between patients, but most people usually return to work within two to five days. If however, your job requires heavy lifting or climbing, then returning to work may be delayed several weeks or modified work duty can be performed if available.