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How to Prepare for ACL Surgery

The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) refers to a stabilizing structure found in the knees. When it gets torn or injured, repair needs extensive recovery. Although surgery is one of the options for managing ACL injuries, treatment starts long before the date of the surgery.

Things You Need

Preparing for ACL surgery might seem challenging, especially when you don’t know what you need. But with the help of a reliable ACL surgeon, you can put together the following things:

  • Loose clothing
  • Snacks
  • Trash bags
  • Shower equipment
  • Ice

Who Can Get ACL Surgery

ACL reconstructions and tears are among the most injuries that athletes suffer, especially in sports such as track, football, and soccer. The constant motion, pivoting movements, and quick twitch of the knee joint doesn’t in these sports may cause ACL to tear, strain, or completely separate from your joint. Apart from athletes, surgery can be advisable if you are always active or your injuries have caused your knees to buckle.


The decision you make, as well as the actions you take before going for surgery, can be as important as the procedure in making sure you recover healthily and faster.

But before the preparations start, ensure you know the potential benefits and risks of ACL surgery. Without further ado, take the following steps to prepare for the surgery:

  • Eat before the surgery – Anesthetics are usually safer, especially when you have an empty stomach. So you might want to stop eating a few hours before the surgery.
  • Discuss the diagnosis procedure – Go through the details of your ACL injury as well as the upcoming surgery with a doctor or surgeon. Ensure you understand what caused your ACL injury and are clear about other options for treatment.
  • Ask questions – Speak to your doctor about what to expect during your surgery. Ensure you ask about the complications and risks of the surgery. And if possible, contact other patients who underwent the same procedure to have an idea of how it felt and what you should expect during the process. Remember also to follow the preparation instructions about when not to eat and drink and whether to take your medications before the surgery or not. While you can be discharged the same day after the procedure, you may still feel the impacts of anesthesia. So ensure you have someone who can drive you from the operation.

After ACL Surgery

Rehabilitation is important to ensure the success of your ACL surgery. After the surgery, your doctor will prescribe some painkillers and advice you to take them on time.

Icing your knee is also key, as it can decrease swelling and alleviate pain. You are more likely to have an appointment with a doctor for follow-up purposes. This can be within several weeks of your surgery.

Final Touches

Although ACL injuries might feel very overwhelming and your recovery can seem daunting, an effective rehabilitation program may set you up for success. Let your doctor guide you through the entire process and help you create a personalized reconstruction program that will ensure you fully recover in the comfort of your home.