A major surgery can often be very overwhelming and even a frightening experience. The thought of reconstructing something as important as your ACL can be daunting, but you can follow some helpful tips in order to help you prepare for an ACL reconstruction.

Going into surgery prepared will not only give you peace of mind, but will also help to prepare you physically post-surgery. Here are some very useful pointers to remember:

Schedule Your Physical Therapy

Once your surgery has been scheduled, be sure to call your physical therapist to schedule your follow up visits. You should plan on seeing your physical therapist two to three times per week for the first two months following surgery.

Quit All Tobacco Products

Make sure to quit using tobacco at least four weeks before and up to 8 weeks after the surgery in order to help your wounds heal quickly and to reduce your risk of infection.


Make sure not to shave anywhere from the neck down at least 48 hours before the day of your surgery.

The Night Before Surgery

The night before surgery, avoid eating or drinking anything after midnight. This includes all candy, gum or breath mints.

Ask a Family Member or Friend For Their Help Before Surgery

Talk to them and ask them to help you with:

  • Taking you to and from the hospital the day of your surgery
  • Getting your necessary medicines from the pharmacy
  • Helping to set up your living space in order to have easy access to your bed, bathroom, food, medications, phone and other important needs

Make sure to check with the hospital the day of the surgery in order to ensure that you have the correct time.