ACL Tear Home Care
- Apply a cold compress:
- Wrap ice in a moist hand towel. Do not apply ice directly to the skin.
- Apply for 20-30 minutes, every 1-2 hours, for the first few days.
- Elevate your knee.
- Above your heart if possible.
- Apply an elastic wrap to the knee.
- Re-wrap the knee every 6 hours.
- Rest the injury.
- Use a walker.
- Use crutches.
- Use a cane.
- Apply a knee cast or splint.
- The splint may help protect the knee.
- Knee exercises
- Start exercises after 3 days.
- Gradually increase your activity over 1-2 weeks.
- Acetaminophen for pain
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, NeoProfen)
- Ketoprofen (Actron, Orudis, Oruvail)
- Naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, Aleve)
- Take prescribed medications as directed:
- Don't skip doses of your medication. This makes them less effective.
- Be aware of the common side effects that may be caused by your medication.
- Learn everything you can about your cruciate ligament knee injury:
- The more you know about your condition, the easier it will be to participate with your doctor in making treatment decisions.
- Ask your doctor about good sources for information.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
For more information:
ACL Tear Warning Signs
Notify your doctor if you have a cruciate ligament knee injury and any of the following:
Continue to ACL Tear Complications
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- Hayashi R, Kitamura N, Kondo E, Anaguchi Y, Tohyama H, Yasuda K. Simultaneous anterior and posterior cruciate ligament reconstruction in chronic knee instabilities: surgical concepts and clinical outcome. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2008 Jun 7. 
- Iversen MD, Friden C. Pilot study of female high school basketball players' anterior cruciate ligament injury knowledge, attitudes, and practices. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2008 Jun 18. 
- Oztekin HH, Boya H, Ozcan O, Zeren B, Pinar P. Pain and affective distress before and after ACL surgery: A comparison of amateur and professional male soccer players in the early postoperative period. Knee. 2008 Jul 15.