Showering After ACL Surgery, What To Know

What To Know When Showering After ACL Surgery

Showering after ACL surgery is both a daunting and difficult task. Unfortunately, it is also unavoidable.

The most important thing to consider when showering after ACL surgery is the instructions given to you by the hospital.

Showering After ACL Surgery
Showering After ACL Surgery

Can You Shower After ACL Surgery?


I say eventually, and not yes because different hospitals will have unique post-op protocols.

In my case, I had to wait 48 hours until I could shower after ACL surgery.

However, other surgeons may have you wait longer or shorter. Refer to the instructions given by the hospital to avoid accidents.

If you misplace or forget, you should call the hospital and ask them.

Can I Get My Wounds Wet (Showering After ACL Surgery)?

No… unless instructed otherwise.

In most cases, the hospital instructs you not to get your wounds wet. Some hospitals are more specific about this point than others.

For example, after my surgery, I could shower 48 hours after surgery, wore band-aids, and did not put my injured knee under the water.

Some surgeons may have you wear a plastic bag over your leg, while others may not mention it at all. Although, in most post-ACL surgery scenarios, the hospital will tell you not to soak your leg for up to 2 weeks.

Personal Experience & Takeaway

As someone who has torn their ACL and been through the recovery process, showering after ACL surgery may have been the most challenging part of the whole process.

It is a humbling experience not being able to shower in less than an hour and a half.

However, after showering once, each time got easier and easier.

I had anxiety about removing the bandages before showering after ACL surgery. Although, I am happy to say it was not nearly as bad as I had thought. The wounds were much smaller and less gruesome than I expected.

I suggest not overwhelming yourself with the amount of drainage your exterior bandages collect. Underneath all of that, it is not that bad.

Showering After ACL Surgery - More About ACL

What Is The ACL Recovery Process Like?

Tearing your ACL is obviously not great. It is one of the worst orthopedic injuries there is and is one I have experience with.

It is a long process that can take 8-16 months to “fully” recover from. I put “fully” in quotations because regaining total confidence in your knee takes closer to 2 years.

Now that the negativity is out of the way, let’s look at the upside. Like many things in life, the more you put into rehab, the more you will get out of it.

Rehab might suck at first, and it might cause you some discomfort, but it’s rehab that will get your knee back to health as quickly and effectively as possible.

Given that your surgery was a success, your recovery is in your hands to an extent. If you are diligent with rehab exercises, you will be back to full strength in no time.

Do not underestimate the significance of rehab.

To get a detailed description of the ACL injury, surgery, and rehabilitation process, click here.

How To Tell If You Tore Your ACL

If you think you may have torn your ACL based on these symptoms, it is imperative to see an orthopedic surgeon or go to the ER as soon as possible.

Showering After ACL Surgery: Other FAQs

Now that we have an answer to that question, let’s try to answer some more.

Can You Workout Upper Body After ACL Tear?

Unfortunately, not right away.

You need to be cleared by your orthopedic surgeon before returning to weight lifting of any kind (upper body included).

Due to the biological processes of ACL reconstruction, the new ligament is at its weakest around the 6-8 week mark.

Leg drive during upper body movements may generate enough force to re-tear the weakened ligament during this time.

To learn more about this topic, click here.

Best Upper Body Workout After ACL Surgery

After the initial clearing from your surgeon, opt for upper body machines that require the least (if any) amount of leg drive to perform.

To see examples of workouts and a more in-depth explanation, click here.

What Is Worse, ACL or Meniscus Tear?

ACL Injuries are far more severe than meniscus injuries.

Both can be serious and will likely be painful but tearing your ACL usually requires surgery to heal.

Best Diet For ACL Recovery

After tearing your ACL, avoid inflammatory food. One of the struggles you will face after ACL surgery is battling inflammation.

You can lessen this by eating less inflammatory foods. To learn more, click here.

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