Bruising After Your ACL or Knee Surgery

In the first few days following your ACL or knee surgery, you might be wondering what is considered normal and what could potentially indicate an issue. We are here to assist you during these challenging times by addressing some of the most frequently asked questions regarding ACL surgery and recovery.

Dressing Removal:

The Ace Wrap and the dressing beneath it can be quite substantial. You may not be able to feel the ice, and it might be unclear if it’s genuinely benefiting your knee and proving effective. Please keep this dressing on until you consult either your physical therapist (PT) or your surgeon. Carefully unwrap it when the time comes.


Any bleeding should have ceased by now, and any blood you observe will likely be dried on the gauze from the dressing. If you do experience slight bleeding, use a large piece of gauze and medical tape or your Ace wrap to secure it. Avoid using band-aids, as they can be challenging to remove and may pull at the scab.


Bruising is entirely normal. Some individuals may bruise more than others, and the duration of bruises can vary from one person to another, lasting anywhere from one week to two weeks or even up to a month. Typically, bruising normalizes about 10-14 days post-op. It may extend as far as your mid to low calf. As long as you do not experience redness, warmth, or severe calf pain, your condition is generally okay. If you do have intense calf pain, it’s advisable to visit the emergency room to rule out a DVT (blood clot). 

For more information on what to do in the first few days after surgery, you can refer to this informative blog: Things to remember on your first few weeks after surgery

Hope this helps! Check out our other posts on ACL recovery!