Knee Injury

ACL and MCL, Strain, Replacement, Range of Motion

They Might Be Thinking:

  • Will I be able to walk without pain again? How long will it take?
  • How long will it take for me to get back to the same level of flexibility and range of motion? 
  • How long will I need to take pain medications? 
  • Do I need to go to physical therapy? 
  • Can I do my own physical therapy? 
  • How long will I need to use crutches or a scooter to get around? 
  • How long will it be before that knee will be able to bear weight?
  • Can I use a walker? 
  • How will I take a shower or a bath? 
  • Will my leg atrophy? How will I get full strength in my leg again? 
  • How long do I need to wait before I can drive my car after the surgery? 
  • How long will I be out of work?
  • I don’t want to be a burden on anyone during my recovery.
  • Will I stay at the hospital overnight?
  • Should I get a partial or full replacement?  
  • Should I replace both of my knees at the same time?
  • I'm worried about getting an infection or a clot from surgery, or suffering other complications as a result of it. 
  • How will I get up and down the stairs in my house while I am healing?
  • What if my knee still hurts even after surgery?
  • Will I be able to resume my previous workout routine or play sports after surgery?

Words That Might Be Encouraging:

  • Whatever you need to get through this recovery, I will be there to help you.
  • When can I stop by after surgery with a meal for you?
  • I care about you.
  • You can do some home therapy with ankle weights, but the professionals are critical to your recovery.
  • Do you need somebody to take you to the hospital and be there when you get out of surgery?
  • Would you like me to go to your follow-up visit with your doctor or to physical therapy?
  • If you are diligent about doing your physical therapy exercises, you will start seeing results, but it takes time.
  • If you need someone to drive you around during your recovery, I would be happy to chauffeur you. 
  • Let's see if we can rent you a transport chair (or other home recovery aid, such as a scooter) to help with your recovery. Or perhaps we can find somebody who can lend one to you.
  • Be sure to stay ahead of the pain by taking the medications prescribed by your doctor. Don't try to be a hero.
  • Technology has come a long way, and I'll bet you will be surprised by how quickly you will recover. 

Words That Might Be Discouraging:

  • I wouldn’t want that kind of scar on my leg.
  • Does your leg set off the alarm when you go through the metal detectors at the airport?
  • I feel so bad that you have to go through this.
  • I feel so blessed and lucky that I didn’t need that surgery.
  • Everything will be just fine.
  • You should try doing this other treatment before getting surgery. 
  • Did you try that other treatment I recommended?
  • Do you have any regrets about going through the surgery? Was it worth it?
  • Does it hurt less than it did before the surgery?
  • Are we feeling better today? (Or some other infantilizing platitude.)
  • Too bad you can't play tennis (or basketball or run or ski) after knee surgery.
  • I know how you feel. 
See Personalized Encouragement Recommendations for Someone You Care About
Personalize: Name & Relationship (sign-in/up to complete personal profile information to improve encouragement recommendations)
Select relationship type
Was this guide helpful?
Your rating will help us improve this encouragement guide.