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Author Topic: when to return to work?  (Read 1309 times)

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Offline cjm

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when to return to work?
« on: September 22, 2003, 07:54:32 PM »
I am 4 weeks post ACL reconstruct and meniscus repair.  I teach a special needs class for kindergarten students, which involves sitting on the floor, small chairs, lots of up and down, and an active environment with small kids.  I have 2 more weeks to go on leave.  My doctor said I "will know when I am ready" to return, and he supports whatever decision I make  for my return date.  How will I know when I am ready?  I am anxious to get back to my job, but don;'t want to risk hurting myself again.  Thanks for your help.

Offline dm

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Re: when to return to work?
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2003, 10:50:14 PM »
By "you'll know when you are ready" I think the dr means that only you can tell when you are healed enough to be able to do the things that you do in class -sitting on kiddie chairs, sitting on the floor, getting up and down a lot, etc.

Things heal at their speed. The best thing I could say is to ask very specific questions of the dr - if I feel this then what - that sort of thing, to try and get a better idea of how long you ought to wait.

One thing I thought of is - can you get an aide for a couple weeks when you get back, so you don't have to pick up kids etc? I don't know what lifting kids would do to your newly fixed knee.
multiple arthroscopies 2/00,3/01,6/01,1/03, 12/07,10/10. chondromalacia, severe medial joint space narrowing following 3 partial menisectomies, chronic pain problems, kneecap problems, OCD lesion, failed mfx.

Offline cjm

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Re: when to return to work?
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2003, 12:53:36 AM »
Thank you.  I guess I will have to be more specific with my doctor, and will also ask my PT for input.  I am fortunate to have a wonderful classroom aide who I know will be very protective of me when I do return.  Thank you for your input, it is appreciated.

Offline ~*Heather*~

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Re: when to return to work?
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2003, 07:01:44 AM »
Cjm,

From my many times of having to go back to a demanding job after surgery, one thing I have learned is to go back for 1/2 days if at all possible. This way you can see if you are ready and monitor pain levels from the activites that you have to endure.  I have gone back a few times and realized I was not as ready as I thought.

PT's are a great source of information when it comes to making decisions like these as well.  Have you been released to do all sorts of movements or will you go back being restricted still?  Maybe try to mimick some of the movements at home if you can and see how you feel.  If you do go back and you have trouble throughout the day, please don't push it. I learned that the hard way!

Good luck and I bet you look forward to returning to your daily routine  ;)

Heather
R knee-2 LR's, 1 ITB Release. L knee-LR/medial plication (2/02).Fell postop 3/02 & ruptured quad tendon.Quad tendon repair (8/02).Led to Patella Baja.TTT w/ Quad tendon reefing 9/03.Screw removal 8/04

Offline sienna

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Re: when to return to work?
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2003, 11:06:05 AM »
Dear cjm,
I, too, work in with special needs kids at a special school.  Lots of lifting, up and down, chasing,  little chairs, etc.  I'm  off for another three and half weeks and I wonder when I will be able to return.  dm and Heather both gave you some good advice -  go back part time and get another aide in the room.    
The last thing you want to do is reinjure yourself.  This could happen despite your best intentions.  It's just not worth it.  Also when you do go back, see if you can get an adjustable office chsir on wheels.  That way you can wheel around a bit and adjust the height without bending too much.
Good luck.
rk posterior meniscus tear. Successfully repaired 10 Sep,03. Now have nerve damage and cps which goes with it.  I want to slap the person who said 'It just takes time....'

Iona_-Uk

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Re: when to return to work?
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2003, 11:44:33 AM »
Dear CJM

You will know when the time is right for you to return to work full time, it's very diffiuclt for anyone to give an indication of exactly when you may return but it depends so much on your recovery, your rehab and this varies so much from indivdual to individual.

Good luck
Iona

Offline cjm

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Re: when to return to work?
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2003, 05:07:43 PM »
Thanks for your help.  I talked with my PT, and she said I need more time, as I am not able to bend and squat down yet.  She also advised me not to sit in kindergarten chairs, but to stay in an adult sized chair.  I have made arrangements to go into my class for a couple of hours at a time.  This will let the kids get to know me and become comfortable with me before I am back full time, and will also help me to guage how I handle classroom demands.  Thanks again for your support.