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Pain after ACL Surgery

How much pain can I expect following ACL repair or reconstruction surgery?

Similarly to when first injuring the ACL, patients should expect knee pain, swelling, and discoloration to the knee after having surgical repair or reconstruction. To help with reducing swelling, we recommend rest, icing, compression, and elevation of the leg. This will help with recovery as well as improving the range of motion of the knee in a shorter amount of time. We expect that pain medication will be needed during the first week, but you should expect to use less medication after the first week. Possible pain control can be accomplished with NSAIDS (i.e. Advil, Celebrex) and opioid medications (i.e. Norco). The anesthesiologist may perform a local/regional nerve block during and after the surgery to help control pain. While taking pain medication, please avoid alcoholic beverages. If you begin to experience worsening or uncontrollable pain, please make sure to get in contact with Dr. Chahla’s team.



At a Glance

Dr. Jorge Chahla

  • Triple fellowship-trained sports medicine surgeon
  • Performs over 500 surgeries per year
  • Assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Rush University
  • Learn more

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