How you prepare

Before your surgery, you will likely undergo several weeks of physical therapy. The goal before surgery is to reduce pain and swelling, restore your knee's full range of motion and strengthen muscles. People who go into surgery with a stiff, swollen knee often have poor healing and don't regain full range of motion after surgery.

ACL reconstruction is an outpatient procedure, so you'll be able to go home later that same day. Arrange for someone to drive you home.

Food and medications

Share with your surgeon a list of any medications, herbal medicines or dietary supplements you take regularly. If you regularly take aspirin or other blood-thinning medications, your doctor may ask you to stop taking these types of drugs for at least a week before surgery to reduce your risk of bleeding.

Follow your doctor's instructions about when to stop eating, drinking and taking any other medication the night before your surgery.

Dec. 19, 2015
References
  1. Friedberg RP. Anterior cruciate ligament injury. http://www.uptodate.com. Accessed Oct. 10, 2015.
  2. Frontera WR. Anterior cruciate ligament tear. In: Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 22, 2015.
  3. Knee arthroscopy. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00299. Accessed Oct. 15, 2015.
  4. ACL injury: Does it require surgery? American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00297. Accessed Oct. 15, 2015.
  5. DeLee JC, et al. Anterior cruciate ligament injuries (including revision). In: DeLee & Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine: Principles and Practice. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 22, 2015.
  6. Knee arthroscopy exercise guide. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00300. Accessed Oct. 15, 2015.
  7. Shea KG, et al. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons evidence-based guideline on management of anterior cruciate ligament injuries. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. 2015;97:672.
  8. Stuart MJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 28, 2015.