Recovering From ACL Surgery Using Cold Compression Knee Wraps

cold compression knee wrap

There are few solutions that provide more immediate results after ACL surgery than a cold compression knee wrap. Cold Compression therapy is a highly-respected, proven approach for reducing swelling after an injury. By applying cold compression, freshly oxygenated blood and vital nutrients are directed toward the damaged tissue, advancing your body’s healing process.


If you’re looking to take a faster road to recovery after ACL surgery, cold compression knee wraps are a proven solution. Studies taken from post-ACL surgery patients show a significant decrease in healing time from those engaging in cold compression therapy. Active compression forces swelling out of the injured area and directs it toward the body’s core so it can be disposed of through the lymphatic system, ultimately increasing blood flow and oxygen. This process can make the difference for athletes attempting to recover under a time constraint.


When To Use A Cold Compression Knee Wrap

cold compression knee wrapAfter ACL surgery, your body will begin a natural recovery immediately. In the first few days after surgery a patient will begin regaining motion in their knee. This period of recovery is often the most painful, although It is during this phase that it is optimal for a patient to begin implementing cold and compression therapy. Applying a cold compression knee wrap within the first week after surgery will guarantee the best results.


During this stage, the swelling of the knee is heightened and there is a decreased blood flow to the injured area. The body will begin taking natural steps to decrease inflammation, but without the addition of cold compression therapy the reduction in swelling may take more time. A portable compression device is typically recommended, as most post-surgical patients are confined to limited mobility. Once you’ve initiated cold compression therapy, you should begin to see results within the first few days.




Healing from an ACL tear takes time. The initial recovery period is challenging and tiresome. For those committed to their physical therapy and healing process, deciding to use cold compression therapy can drastically reduce the amount of time spent immobile. This is especially true for athletes striving to recover before a certain event or competition.

ACL Surgery Recovery

How To Use Cold Compression Knee Wrap

It’s important to have a broad understanding of cold compression therapy before using a cold compression knee wrap.  Once you’ve determined the type of knee wrap that best suites you, it’s time to begin therapy. The portable cold therapy unit from PowerPlay is designed to deliver intermittent compression – meaning the compression pump inflates the wrap to the desired pressure, holds for 10 seconds, releases, then inflates again. Set the unit to the desired pressure and begin your therapy. Continue this process throughout the first week after surgery, or until the reduction in swelling is noticeable. Intermittent compression has proven to be more effective than static compression because it moves blood more effectively, decreasing swelling at a faster rate.


Cold therapy also includes the use of ice packs and frozen gel packs, which have both been proven to reduce pain. This method is not as effective as the combination of cold and compression, but it does help reduce swelling. Using ice packs or frozen gel packs is often recommended when a patient has no access to portable compression devices.


Tearing an ACL is a painful and inconvenient experience. It takes a patient months to journey through the extensive process of surgery and recovery. Cold compression therapy works to make the healing process easier for you. If applied appropriately, patients will often see recovery 1 to 2 weeks earlier than those who have not utilized this type of therapy. If you’re an athlete suffering from a knee injury, give yourself an advantage by healing the fastest way. Give cold compression therapy a try and put yourself in a position to recover as fast as possible.


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