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Resources & Support Orthopedics

LCL Tear
Resources & Support

At UCSF Health, we are renowned for our highly specialized and cutting-edge medical care. Along with innovative medicine, we strive to provide a variety of services to ensure that patients and families are fully supported while in our care. UCSF has a team of experienced social workers and condition-specific support groups as well as classes to help patients and families navigate their experiences while in our clinics and hospitals. 

Our support services also include unique programs to help heal the mind and spirit, such as Art for Recovery, Healing Through Dance and complimentary spa treatments during infusion therapy. During an unfamiliar and stressful time, UCSF’s support services are ready to lend a hand whenever patients and families need it most.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When should I start physical therapy after surgery?

    You should start as soon as possible, generally within one to two weeks after surgery. You may be able to start your program right after the first post-op appointment

  • How long will I be on crutches?

    You'll most likely use crutches for six to eight weeks after surgery. The time period depends on whether other structures in your knee needed repair

  • I've heard about cold pack devices that provide pain relief. Are they effective?

    You can use a number of icing methods, such as placing a regular ice pack or a package of frozen vegetables over your knee bandages. Cold therapy units, which work by recirculating ice water through a pad over your knee, are convenient and effective. You can buy one online, at a medical supply store or in one of the UCSF orthotics and prosthetics centers.

  • Will I have stitches?

    You'll have stitches along the outer side of your knee. They will be covered by a bandage and removed at your first post-op appointment.

  • When will I have a follow-up appointment?

    You'll see your doctor about a week after surgery for an exam, X-rays and removal of the stitches.

  • When can I shower after surgery?

    You should keep the dressing on and knee dry until your first post-op visit; you'll likely be cleared to shower then. But don't submerge your knee in a bathtub until three to four weeks after your surgery.

  • When can I return to school or work?

    Most patients are ready to return to school or desk work five to seven days after surgery. If you're able to work from home, your initial recovery will be easier. If you have a physically demanding job, you may need more time for a safe recovery and medical clearance before returning to work.

  • When can I drive after LCL surgery?

    That depends on which leg had surgery. If it was your left knee and you have an automatic car, you can drive once you're no longer taking narcotic pain medication and feel capable of driving safely. If you had surgery on your right knee, you'll need to wait three to six weeks, based on discussion with your surgeon.

Support services at UCSF Health

Patient Resource

Case Management & Social Work

Connect with a team that can help you find resources, solve problems and advocate for you during treatment at UCSF.


Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Class

This eight-week class teaches mindfulness practices that can reduce stress and improve your overall health, such as meditation and body awareness.

Patient Resource

Patient Relations

We welcome feedback about your experience at UCSF Health. Find out how to contact us with comments, questions or concerns.

Patient Resource

Spiritual Care Services

Chaplains representing many faiths are available around the clock to provide support, comfort and counsel to patients, families and caregivers.