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Before surgery

Before surgery Initially you will meet with a member of Dr. Lowe’s team and to be evaluated. This appointment will be scheduled with a physician assistant or nurse practioner and will help determine the extent of your injury. Imaging is typically ordered at this appointment and used to determine if you require surgery, physical therapy or another option. If you require a brace or crutches, these will also be given to you at this appointment. Most importantly, our team will determine what the best plan for your care will be moving forward and have any additional appointments arranged for you. If you are scheduled for surgery, please stop taking any anti-inflammatory medication, supplements, vitamins and/or probiotics 10 days before surgery due to their ability to slow down healing post-operatively.

Day of Surgery and Post-Surgery

If you are having surgery, no eating or drinking after midnight the night before surgery. Please wear loose clothing that will allow for a brace or sling to be worn. Please leave all jewelry and valuables at home so they are not lost at the facility.

Incision and Wound Care

First Post-Operative Appointment

ACL or other ligament reconstruction surgery requires arthroscopic portal incisions to be made below the patella and on both sides of the patellar tendon. Additional incisions must also be made depending on the specific procedure(s), the type of graft being used as well as any additional secondary procedures that may be done along with the reconstruction, i.e., open meniscal repair, etc.

As instructed, your caregivers and physical therapist should never remove the initial surgical dressings. Your dressings will be changed on your initial post-operative office appointment. Dressings should remain dry during this time. Wet dressings can lead to bacterial growth and infection. If you shower, your dressing should be wrapped in plastic and covered to avoid water. If they do get wet, please contact the office for further instruction.

If you notice any signs of an infection such as a fever greater than 100 ⁰, redness around the area, and warmth when touching the skin or any pus like drainage please call the office at 713-486-6540.

Second Post-Op Appointment

Following ACL or other ligament reconstruction surgery, your dressings will be changed again on your second post-operative office appointment and sutures will be clipped. Most patients can return to normal showering after this visit. Allow the water to run over the steri-strips with no scrubbing of the area and pat dry. No submersion of your incisions such as in a bathtub, Jacuzzi, or swimming pool until 4 weeks post-op or until all incisions are healing well and closed.

Steri-strips will be placed on the incisions after suture removal. These will remain until they fall off on their own, do not pull them off. Continue to wear an ACE wrap or knee sleeve in public and to bed as long as the steri-strips are still on your skin. When they fall off, you no longer have to keep the knee covered. If the knee is still swollen, continue to wear the wrap/sleeve.

When the steri-strips fall off, begin massaging your incisions with the pad of your finger for 5 minutes per day to break up scar tissue. Use this time to massage around the knee cap as well. Vitamin E is recommended to use while you are massaging your scars to help soften them. Using sunscreen on fresh scars while outdoors will help prevent darkening of the scars.

Swelling control- TED hose

After surgery it is important to control swelling which can be assisted with elevation, icing and compression. While icing you should try and elevate your ankle above your heart and do some gentle ankle pumps.

To aid in blood clot prevention you will be placed in TED Hose (thrombo-embolism deterrant hose). Continue to wear the operative leg hose until you are off crutches, the non-operative hose can be removed 48 hours after surgery.

Shoulder Sling Use

Shoulder Sling Use (Lane Bailey) - Memorial Hermann


If you were placed in a brace after surgery, this should remain on unless you are at physical therapy, in the CPM, or otherwise directed by your physician. Depending on your surgery will determine how long you are in a brace. You will be given instructions after surgery as well at your first post-op appointment on when you can change the restrictions of the brace as well as weight bearing status.

Crutch Use

Crutch Use (Chris Juneau) - Memorial Hermann


A continuous passive motion machine (CPM) will be needed for certain patients after surgery. Your CPM unit is to be used to passively move your knee through a specified range of motion. This passive motion stimulates the healing process of your knee as well as helps to limit excessive scar tissue adhesions that may hinder your recovery. If a CPM machine is ordered after surgery, Dr. Lowe will give specific instructions to your caregiver the day of surgery.

CPM Use (Hip and Knee) (Brad Gerges) - Memorial Hermann


Please ask your healthcare provider before driving.

  • Picture of ohio foot and ankle medical association
  • Picture of american foot ankle surgeon
  • Picture of american podiatric medical association
  • Picture of  The Anterior Cruciate Ligament Study Group (ACL)
  • Picture of ESSKA Executive Office