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Author Topic: Re: back to work after patella fracture  (Read 479 times)

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Offline Seagal

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Re: back to work after patella fracture
« on: February 06, 2018, 10:58:25 PM »
Hi,
I had a left comminuted patella fracture on 1/12/18.  Surgery with ORIF screws and wire on 1/24. Currently WBAT with leg extended in immobilizer.  I am Getting PT and at 38 degrees ROM. Iím about 3 weeks post surgery and at 38 degrees ROM. I am not allowed to do straight leg lifts until 8 weeks.

My doctor said I can go back to work when I feel comfortable going back to work.  I can mostly sit at my desk but I will have meetings, bathroom, need to make copies. My tentative return to work date is in about 2 weeks.

Iím worried about a couple of things- first I will still be in immobilizer.  Iím scheduked to be in it for 8 weeks total according to the protocol I was given. How can I sit for 8 hours in an immobilizer?  Even with some breaks to stand itís going to be tough.  Should I get a wheelchair with an elevated leg?  Were other people fine going back to work with immobilizer.  I went out of the house last week and after sitting in a regular chair with leg elevated, my leg and back hurt after about an hour.

Also, itís really hard to get in and out of a car and I donít think I can drive. With this immobilizer in.  It doesnít feel safe.  I donít think an Uber driver will be willing to lift my leg for me.  What do most people do?

Just wondering when others in my situation went back to work and how they managed these issues!  I am wondering if I should extend my medical leave from 4-5 weeks past surgery to 7?

Offline nsbarb

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Re: back to work after patella fracture
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2018, 06:09:08 PM »
Hi Seagal,
I had a patella fracture ORIF surgery with K-wires with eight design in wire to pull knee cap together, no screws on 12/28/17, it has been 6 weeks since surgery.  I stopped wearing the immobilizer at home per doctors instructions on 1/12/18 (2 wks).  I still use for traveling to physical therapy and doctor's appointments.  I started physical therapy 1/15/18 and am finishing 4th week of PT this week.  I am 56 yrs old so our healing could be very different.

My sutures have completely healed, after exercising knee, it becomes swollen and hot and needs icing.
The progress in range of motion is very slow and seems like starting from zero each time.  At PT, they can manipulate it to 90', which I can not get to on my own.  Thigh muscle has completely atrophied, so I am unable to lift my straightened leg while laying on floor.  Knee feels tight, refusing to bend.  I have not worked and have a plan for going back to teaching on 2/20/18.  Since I have just started putting weight on foot with crutches in the last week, I can't see me walking and driving by 2/20/18.  If I go into work, a classroom of 3rd graders I would need to wear the immobilizer.  When I wear the immobilizer, my foot turns blue and swells after standing for 10 min.  So I would need to be seated most of the time.  I also considered using Uber to get to and from work ($40/ea way).  I'm 5'10" and 132 lbs, I'm all legs so getting into different cars is tricky, need 3' clearance.  This means I'm usually laying leg across a back seat.

My doctor also told me I could go back to work whenever I wanted to.  I don't see going back until I can walk and drive.  Returning to work on 2/20/18 would be 8 weeks since surgery and I can't see it happening. 

Hope this helps
Barbara

Offline Seagal

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Re: back to work after patella fracture
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2018, 07:08:09 PM »
Hi Barbara,

Thanks for responding.  Wow- 90 degrees with PT help six weeks after surgery sounds like you are doing really well and on track. 

I am 43.  Thank you so much for telling me you donít thinkhyou can go back to work before 8 weeks.  I donít want to sound like Iím a complainer but it would be very hard to be at work with this immobilizer on.  Itís really heavy and I donít want to be in pain after work- itís already hard enough to sleep in this thing at night.

Also. Even though I am short and itís not that easy to get in and out of a car for transportation to work.  Why donít passenger side seats mive back more?!

I hope others write in and talk about if or how they managed at work with a knee immobilizer on and also  how they got to work.

Teaching 3rd graders involves lots of activity and concentration.  I hope your job lets you come back when you feel you are ready.  I  wish you a good recovery and  that continue gaining your ROM.  I think 90 degrees in 6 weeks is awesome!

Offline Kingc1993

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Re: back to work after patella fracture
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2018, 06:06:59 PM »
Hi

I am 24. I broke my right patella on the 26 of December and had surgery the 27th .To be honest I donít know how it happend. I was talking to my mom who was behind me . I think I twisted my body and also took a step . Next thing I hear a snap and on the floor . Doctors said it was quiet unusual

I am 8 weeks post surgery. For 6 weeks I wore a brace which was locked at zero and was not allowed to bear weight . I lost a lot of muscle on my broken leg.I am two weeks into physio and my range of motion is nearly 90. I still have the brace on and crutches but allowed to bear weight now

My physio wants me to take another few weeks off as we both think Iím not ready . I would like to at least have my brace off before I go to work

Like you seagal I work mostly at my desk. I am an accountant

I feel quiet guilty not being  at work

Offline Seagal

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Re: back to work after patella fracture
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2018, 12:20:40 AM »
I will be going back March 12th - about 8-9 weeks after the initial fall.  I am allowed to have my brace open to 90 degrees when walking, sitting and sleeping.  I am
Currently at assisted bend of 75 degrees with PT.  My work involves a lot of sitting.  Just being able to sit in a chair with my leg bent would be ok, I think,   even with my leg in a brace.  I guess Iíll find out!

Offline mike77

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Re: back to work after patella fracture
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2018, 01:58:33 PM »
Hi - I'm in a similar position - no surgery for me but I'm in the full leg immobilser brace and expect to be for another 5 / 6 weeks at least. I'm signed off work for another 4 weeks.

I feel bad not being at work - but at the same time I struggle to sit at a desk comfortably or have to sit side on and twist round which is obviously not good either. I would also struggle to get there - although its not impossible I would have to use a local bus which can get pretty crowded, or pay for taxis which would be far too expensive.  I would prefer to at least have the full leg brace off before going back.