If you have recently injured your knee, follow these first-aid steps to reduce pain and swelling:
- Rest and reduce activity. Avoid motions or positions that cause discomfort. Depending on your injury and pain, your doctor may recommend crutches and a brace.
- Put ice or a cold pack on your knee for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Try to do this every 1 to 2 hours for the next 3 days (when you are awake) or until the swelling goes down. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin.
- Elevate your knee higher than your heart.
- Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
- Follow your doctor's instructions for rest and rehabilitation of your knee.
If the tear is minor and your symptoms go away, your doctor may recommend a set of exercises to build up your quadriceps and hamstring muscles and increase your flexibility. It's important to follow your doctor's guidance to avoid a new or repeat injury.
Your recovery time after surgery will depend on many things, including the injury and the type of surgery you have.