DAY OF SURGERY                                               

  • Take it easy!!
  • Apply ice over the bandage
  • Start with clear liquids/foods, and slowly progress to solids
  • Drink plenty of fluids


  • Narcotic usually is prescribed. Take the minimal amount needed to control the pain.
  • Stool softener (Colace) should be taken if narcotic is required on a regular basis. Constipation is a common side effect.
  • No driving allowed while on narcotics.
  • Narcotic medication is not refilled during evening or weekend hours. Please contact my nurse with appropriate lead time if a refill is required.
  • DO NOT TAKE TYLENOL at the same time as narcotic pills. Tylenol is included in the narcotic pills, and taking both simultaneously runs the risk of overdosing on acetaminophen.
  • Advil, aleve, or celebrex may be taken in conjunction with either tylenol or narcotic if needed.
  • Take a baby aspirin a day for one week to prevent blood clots if possible.


  • Keep bandage on for 48 hours
  • While removing the bandage, do not be alarmed if the dressings are wet and/or saturated with blood. Fluid is used to distend the knee during the operation. This fluid seeps out the portals and often makes the bandages appear more dramatic than they are!
  • To Shower
  • Remove bandage. Remove ace bandage, cotton padding, gauze, and yellow adhesive. Leave butterflies (steristrips) alone.
  • Place saran wrap over knee.
  • Shower normally.
  • Blot dry with a clean towel. Place a band-aid over the portals until they stop draining.
  • The portals tend to not leave an obvious scar. However, to minimize this, use Vitamin E cream over the portals beginning four weeks after surgery twice a day. If, a formal incision was made and steri strips (white pieces of tape) were applied DO NOT Remove.
  • The portals will be sensitive to burning for six months to a year following surgery. Please apply SPF 45 protection during exposure to the sun. 


  • You should be seen 7-10 days following surgery.
  • Please call 847-724-4978 to arrange for this before surgery.
  • You should schedule this with either myself or my physician assistant, Courtney.
  • Findings from surgery will be reviewed at that visit along with intraoperative pictures.
  • Sutures, if placed, will be removed at that visit.
  • Physical therapy will be arranged at that visit.
  • If you wish to have actual clips of your surgery recorded, please bring either a blank DVD, blank CD, or flash drive and give this to Dr. Portland the day of surgery. PLEASE GIVE THIS TO DR. PORTLAND BEFORE SURGERY IN THE HOLDING AREA.


  • Walk as tolerated.
  • Bend and straighten knee as tolerated.
  • Elevate the knee for forty-eight hours. Have a pillow underneath the ankle (not the knee). This will promote full extension of the knee.
  • Use crutches only as needed.
  • No driving while on narcotic.
  • Do not contemplate driving if you are too sore to react in an emergency.
  • Practice at a quiet area before driving in busy traffic.
  • Check with your insurance carrier. You may not be covered within a certain period of time from your surgery.


  • If you develop significant shortness of breath or chest pain, call 911 immediately. Following this, contact Dr. Portland
  • Call if you develop fever higher than 101 degrees, shortness of breath, chest pain, redness around the incisions, foul drainage from the incisions, or a significant worsening of pain not relieved by icing and anti-inflammatory
  • Blood clots are a feared complication. Take a baby aspirin a day for one week, pump your ankles up and down, and ambulate to help prevent this from developing. Some calf discomfort and swelling are common 24-48 hours after surgery as the arthroscopy fluid settles with gravity. If excessive swelling and/or discomfort present, please notify Dr. Portland immediately.
  • Infection is highly unlikely following an arthroscopy. The knee is bathed continuously during surgery with fluid, and this washes any bacteria away. Antibiotics are given before surgery, and no further dose is required.
  • Tips to further prevent infection
  • A nasal swab may be performed of your nose before surgery. One in five people are carriers of a bacteria called Staphylococcus Aureus. If you are identified as a carrier, nasal antibiotic ointment can be started before surgery to minimize this risk.
  • Purchase hibiclens shower solution from your nearest pharmacy. Take a hibiclens shower the morning of surgery as directed on the bottle.
  • Do not play with your incisions.
  • Keep a clean and dry band aid over the portals until they begin to heal.
  • If questions or concerns, contact me at 847-998-5680.