R = Rest We want you to be up and moving but do this in moderation. We recommend you rest the first 5-7 days after surgery. DO NOT OVERDO IT. Increased activity means increased swelling. By decreasing the swelling early you will recover quicker. We recommend small bouts of activity throughout the day. Get up and walk around the house a little bit every hour to hour and a half that you are awake. I = Ice Ice as much as possible the first week to two weeks. ice is a great anti-inflammatory and helps minimize swelling. you may apply an ice massage over the knee, the quadriceps muscle (muscle located on the front of the thigh), the hamstring muscle (muscle located on the back of the thigh) and the calf. Ice Machine We will provide you with an ice machine the day of your surgery. The ice machine is yours to keep and you will not be billed for the machine. you may use the machine as much as you like as long as there is a barrier between your knee and the wrap from the ice machine (an empty pillow case or small towel works well). *If you are having 2 knee surgeries with Dr. Berger please bring the ice machine back to the hospital for your second surgery. Please label it with your full name. **If you have problems with your ice machine, please contact the company directly. The phone number is part of your purple discharge instructions. C = Compress The TED hose compression stockings provide compression and help minimize swelling. Keep the stockings on during the day and take them off at night for the first 3 weeks after your surgery. The stockings go on both legs. E = Elevate Elevating your leg will help reduce swelling.To reduce significant amounts of swelling elevate your leg 4-5 times a day for 15-30 minutes each time. Do this by lying flat with the ankle above your knee and your knee above your heart.
USE HEAT: You may start using heat to help decrease bruising. place a hot pack/heating pad over the front and back of the thigh (quadricep and hamstring muscles) and on the calf muscle. Try heat 3 times a day for 20 minutes each time. using heat will increase your flexibility and make exercising easier. Alternate the heat and ice. Heat before you stretch/exercise and use ice after activity.