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Resources & Support Orthopedics

PCL 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 can I shower after surgery?

    You need to keep your dressing on and knee dry until your first post-op visit, usually one to two weeks after surgery. At that point, you'll likely be cleared to shower. But you'll need to wait three to four weeks from your surgery day before submerging your knee in a bathtub or swimming pool.

  • When should I start physical therapy?

    It's best to start as soon as possible after surgery, generally within the first one to two weeks.

  • How long will I be on crutches?

    Most patients use crutches for about six weeks, though the time varies depending on your precise injury and how quickly you heal.

  • Do cold therapy devices provide good pain relief?

    You have a number of icing options, including applying regular ice packs and even packages of frozen vegetables. Cold therapy machines are convenient and effective, as well as somewhat expensive.

  • Will I have stitches?

    You'll have two or three stitches, covered by a bandage. They will be removed one to two weeks after surgery.

  • When should I have a follow-up appointment?

    Plan to see your doctor one to two weeks after surgery for an exam and suture removal.

  • When can I return to school or work after PCL repair surgery?

    Most patients can return to school or desk work three to five days after surgery. Working from home, if possible, makes recovery easier in the beginning. With a physically demanding job, you'll need more time for a safe recovery and medical clearance before returning to work.

  • When can I drive after PCL 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 after surgery before getting behind the wheel.

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.