ACI and Joint Restoration Post-Operative Instructions

Thank for choosing Dr. Berman and The Joint Preservation Center to help you with your treatment needs. Please read this information carefully to answer many of the more common questions following your procedure.

What is ACI or Joint Restoration?

An ACI or Joint Restoration is typically a procedure to restore the function of your knee using biologic alternatives rather than artificial implants. For more information, please refer to the knee animations section of this web site.

Some things to anticipate

  1. ACI or Joint Restorations procedures are most often done as an outpatient surgery. You will go home within a few hours after surgery. You will need someone to drive you home.
  2. When you awaken from anesthesia, you will have a large dressing and ice pack on your knee. You will be given crutches or a walker for support. You will be non-weight bearing initially. Please do not try to walk without the crutches until seen back in the office, and do not try to get up without assistance for the first 24 hours after surgery.
  3. It is normal to have swelling and discomfort in the knee for several days or even weeks after surgery. The ice will help minimize swelling and pain, and should be worn constantly for the first three days. When not walking with your crutches, you should elevate your leg on 2 pillows under the foot/ankle, not under the knee. This allows gravity to let your knee fall straight.
  4. You might have some bruising or discoloration around your knee, lower leg and/or part of your thigh. This is, again, common and may be more pronounced with these types of procedures.
  5. It is very common to have swelling in the foot and ankle. If this occurs, elevate your foot above the level of your waist.
  6. Do not remove the dressing unless specifically instructed to do so by Dr. Berman or Andrea.
  7. The dressing is not waterproof. Please do not get it wet. Take sponge baths until your first post-op visit, at which time your dressing will be removed.
  8. A CPM (continuous passive motion) machine will be delivered to your home. The representative will explain how to use it. It should be used 6-8 hours every day. This time can be split into any type of schedule you prefer, (ex 1 hour, 2 hour, ½ hour etc)
  9. You will be sent home from the hospital with a prescription for pain medications. Take the medication, if needed, as directed by the pharmacist. The directions on the bottle are the maximum dose you are to take. If you do not need prescription pain medications, you can take simple or extra strength Tylenol. Do not take Advil or Aleve as this may retard cartilage growth. Some patients may take Tylenol along with the prescription pain medications to minimize the amount of pain medications required. Occasionally some patients alternate their prescription pain medications with Tylenol every 2 hours for sustained relief. The prescription pain medications will only be refilled every 14 days. Do not drive if you have been taking pain medications.
  10. Beginning the day after surgery, take one regular Aspirin per day for the next two weeks.
  11. If your surgery is on Monday, you will need to be seen in the office that Thursday. If your surgery is on Wednesday or Friday, you will need to be seen in the office the following Tuesday. You will need to call the office to schedule that appointment.

You should call the office if:

  1. You develop a temperature over 100.0 degree
  2. You have excessive bleeding on the dressing
  3. You develop a significant amount of calf pain, tenderness or swelling.

Surgery is often an inconvenience. We hope to make your experience as pleasant as possible.