Returning To Work Following A Knee Replacement
Are you thinking about returning to work following a knee replacement? As long as you have a positive recovery, as is the case for most knee replacement patients, you should have no issue returning to your workplace. However, there are a few steps youll want to take, such as getting the okay from your doctor and speaking to your boss about returning to work. To get back to the office, heres a short guide to follow!
When Do Working Age Patients Return To Work Following Knee Replacement
In this January 2019 study doctors examined what happened to patients who had a knee replacement and returned to work, or tried to return to work. The doctors wanted to know if the patients not only returned to work but what type of duties and hours the resumed. The researchers had a working idea of what happened to these patients. One, that whether they had partial or total knee replacement, they would take the same amount of time to return to work. Two, that the physically demanding nature of the patients job would not impact the return to work status.
- 2.6% reported physical health reasons.
- 1.7% had been made redundant or replaced at their job.
What Is The Best Month To Have A Knee Replacement
When deciding TKR, it is widely assumed that spring and early fall are the best times. When healing, make sure to wear as little clothing as possible because it will make cleaning the wound and moving around easier.
Staying Mobile After A Knee Replacement
It can be difficult to adapt to a colder climate, but your joints should be able to adjust in time. Despite the fact that stiffness and increased sensitivity are normal after a total knee replacement, there are several simple steps you can take to alleviate these symptoms. By 6 weeks, most patients should be able to resume their normal activities, and pain control should improve. The majority of patients should have been able to maintain 90 percent of their ideal knee motion and pain control by the end of the first three months.
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Working As A Nurse After Knee Replacement
Working as a nurse after knee replacement can be difficult at times, but it is also very rewarding. The best part about nursing is that you get to help people heal and feel better. It is a great career for those who want to make a difference in the lives of others.
Teresa Williams has been working as a nurse for almost 34 years. Teresa began experiencing pain and soreness in her knees a few months ago. Dr. Corey Kendall is an orthopedic surgeon who practices at OrthoIndy. Dr. Kendall advised Teresa to have a knee replacement operation. To schedule a visit with Dr. Kendall at OrthoIndy, go to the button below or call 317.268.3634. What are the symptoms of knee pain and what is the best treatment? In some cases, knee osteoarthritis may be the cause of your disability. After undergoing bilateral knee replacement surgery, many people can reduce their knee pain.
How Many Weeks Does It Take To Recover From A Total Knee Replacement
After total knee replacement surgery, you may not be able to fully recover for up to 12 weeks. It may, however, be possible to return to normal household tasks after about 4 to 6 weeks of recovery.
Knee Replacement Surgery: What To Expect
It is a significant step in the rehabilitation process for a knee replacement. The first few days and weeks following surgery will most likely be very painful. Your doctor may prescribe pain medication to help you manage your pain. Physical therapy can be beneficial to the recovery and maintenance of your new joint. You should aim to resume physical therapy at least once a week for the first few months following surgery.
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Does Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation Help
A January 2022 study examined Neuromuscular electrical stimulation which has been reported as an effective treatment method for quadriceps strengthening and which could attenuate muscle loss in the early total knee replacement postoperative recovery period. The purpose of this randomized controlled trial, according to its authors, was to test whether postoperative use of Neuromuscular electrical stimulation on total knee replacement patients results in increased quadriceps strength and ultimately improved functional outcomes.
- Patients were randomized 2:1 into treatment , 44 patients) or control , 22 patients).
- Patients who used the device for an average of 200 minutes/week or more were considered compliant.
- Baseline measurements and outcomes were recorded at 3, 6, and 12 weeks postoperatively, and included quadriceps strength, range of motion , resting pain, functional timed up and go , stair climb test, and knee injury and osteoarthritis outcome score and veterans rand 12-item health survey scores.
- Patients in the treatment arm experienced quadriceps strength gains over baseline at 3, 6, and 12 weeks following surgery, which were statistically significant compared with controls with quadriceps strength losses at 3 and 6 weeks . Use of a home-based application-controlled NMES therapy system added to standard of care treatment showed statistically significant improvements in quadriceps strength and TUG following TKA, supporting a quicker return to function.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Knee Replacement Surgery
Initially, it takes approximately 6 weeks for the soft tissue, muscles and ligaments to heal. You will begin walking with support the day of or after surgery. Most patients are able to negotiate stairs within 3 days and will be discharged to go home. You may continue to use support up to 6 weeks and do your home strengthening program. You may ride in a car but not be able to drive a car for 4-6 weeks. Returning to work depends on the type of work you do. Office workers may return as early as 3 weeks.
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Jobs That Involve Picking Heavy Things
When you have a knee implant, you will have to avoid picking up very heavy objects. It is to protect your new implant from damage due to high stress.
If your job requires you to do the same, then you first need to train for it. Training programs are designed to help you build your resistance gradually without damaging the implant. Even with proper training, picking up heavy objects is permanently contraindicated.
Even after all these precautions, many people still do not get back to their jobs. It is interesting to find out what influences their decision to do this.
Getting Into And Riding In A Car
When getting into a car:
- Get into the car from street level, not from a curb or doorstep. Have the front seat moved back as far as possible.
- Car seats shouldn’t be too low. Sit on a pillow if you need to. Before you get into a car, make sure you can slide easily on the seat material.
- Turn around so the back of your knee is touching the seat and sit down. As you turn, have someone help lift your legs into the car.
When riding in a car:
- Break up long car rides. Stop, get out, and walk around every 45 to 60 minutes.
- Do some of the simple exercises, like ankle pumps, while riding in the car. This helps reduce the risks of blood clots.
- Take pain medicines before your first ride home.
When getting out of the car:
- Turn your body as someone helps you lift your legs out of the car.
- Scoot and lean forward.
- Standing on both legs, use your crutches or walker to help you stand up.
Ask your health care provider when you can drive. You may need to wait up to 4 weeks after surgery. Do not drive until your provider says it is OK.
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Appendix 1 Telephone Questionnaire: Section Related To Work
Going Back To Work After Knee Replacement Surgery
When a patient is having knee replacement surgery, the question is When can I go back to work? The answer varies, depending on how demanding your job is, the rate at which your body heals, and the state of your general health.
Generally, you can return back to work four to six weeks post-surgery if you have a desk job. You may be instructed to expect a longer recoverytime before you return to a physically demanding job. You may have to wait between four and 12 weeks before you will be allowed to lift heavy objects or engage in physically challenging work. It could take much longer than the aforementioned if you have other health issues that need to be addressed.
The following are good indicators that you are ready to get back to work after knee replacement:
- Youre not dependent anymore on strong painkillers that can cause drowsiness and possibly increase your risk for injury at the workplace.
- You have already regained leg strength and mobility to drive yourself to work, take public transportation, or adequately function in case of emergency.
Furthermore, keeping your body weight under control is crucial because the excess pounds can accelerate wear and tear of your new knee implants. Scheduling regular visits to your healthcare provider so he or she can monitor the state of your new implants is equally important. The frequency of your visits will depend on your age, current health status, and lifestyle habits.
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Driving And Getting Around
Driving is not advised immediately after knee replacement surgery and for several weeks afterward. Due to the procedure, stiffness, pain, and post-operative pain medications, proper movement and flexibility of the knee joint, leg, and foot are not possible for several weeks, making driving difficult and highly unsafe. You should work with your doctor to develop a realistic and safe timeline for when you can resume driving. Also, many auto insurance policies exclude drivers who undergo specific medical procedures or surgeries without medical clearance. To avoid issues with transportation and getting around, you should have a trusted friend or family member transport you or use third-party transportation.
Restrictions After Total Knee Replacement Surgery
Restrictions after total knee replacement should always be discussed with your surgeon. You may expect your lifestyle to be a lot like it was before surgery, and you are right, but returning to your everyday activities takes time.
Most people are able to return to usual activities and work but may have some difficulty performing heavy labor such as construction or farming. And even though you will be able to resume most activities, you may want to avoid doing things that place excessive stress on your new knee, such as participating in high-impact sports like running or jogging.
Traveling is advised after the first four to six weeks, prolonged seated travel or flying before that may increase the risk of blood clot.
These suggestions will help you enjoy your new knee while you safely resume your daily activities.
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Strengths And Limitations Of This Study
Successful return to work is increasingly recognised as an important outcome for patients following joint replacement, with social and economic implications for patients, employers and society. The information regarding factors influencing the process of return to work from the patient’s perspective is limited.
Qualitative research methods were used to gain an understanding of patients experiences following total knee replacement.
This study was undertaken with a small sample at a single site, and the extent to which these findings relate to other regions and groups of patients is unknown.
However, this work highlights the need to review the focus of healthcare provision for this cohort of patients and provide a tailored healthcare intervention to optimise patient outcomes and return to work.
When Should I Have Knee Surgery
Based upon your history, x-rays and physical exam, the surgeon can make some general recommendations. However, you will know when the time is right for you. You will need to decide when your discomfort, stiffness and disability justify undergoing surgery. There is no harm in waiting to have surgery if conservative, non-operative methods can adequately control your discomfort.
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Activities You Cannot Do After Full Recovery
You shouldn’t downhill ski or play contact sports such as football and soccer. In general, avoid sports that require jerking, twisting, pulling, or running. You should be able to do lower-impact activities, such as hiking, gardening, swimming, playing tennis, and golfing.
Other directions you will always need to follow include:
- Take small steps when you are turning. Try not to pivot on the leg that was operated on. Your toes should be pointing straight ahead.
- Do not jerk the leg that was operated on.
- Do not lift too much weight. This will place too much stress on your new knee. This includes grocery bags, laundry, garbage bags, tool boxes, and large pets.
What You Cannot Do After Knee Replacement
You should avoid using stools, couches, soft chairs, rocking chairs, and chairs with low backs after surgery. When you are getting up from a chair, you can slide toward the edge, and you can use your crutches, walker, or chairs arms to help you stand up.
Knee Replacement Surgery: What You Need To Know
It is critical to understand that knee replacement surgery has a significant impact on ones life. Patients who require surgery will typically be on crutches for three to six weeks. It is not uncommon to experience permanent work restrictions even after you resume most daily activities. Employees should seek medical attention to determine whether they are eligible for workers compensation benefits.
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Study : Why 46 Patients Did Not Return To Work Following Knee Replacement And 121 Did
In a study of 167 patients from the University of Amsterdam examined why 46 knee replacement patients did not return to work and 121 did.
- The patents in this study were close to retirement age. The average age of the 167 patients was about 60 at the time of the surgery.
- 58% of these patients had significant weight problems.
- Thirty-one percent of the patients believed it was the physically demanding nature of their job that caused them to need a knee replacement.
46 patients did not return to work because:
- Eight patients had significant enough complication related to the knee replacement that it made returning to work impossible.
- Seven patients reported other medical issues that prevented them from working.
- Thirty-one decided that they would retire without trying to return to work.
How long did it take the 121 patients of this study to return to work?
- Eight patients returned to work within 1 month.
- 50 patients were able to return to work within one to three months.
- 43 patients were able to return to work within 36 months.
- and 20 patients were able to return to work after 6 months.
When Is It Safe To Return To Work
You know yourself and your job the best. Simply, its probably safe to return to work when your pain is under control and youve weaned yourself off your post-op dose of narcotic pain medication. Once youre finished taking narcotic pain medication during the day, you will be able to drive again, and will likely be getting back to a more normal, everyday routine.
Around the 6 week mark, you will have pain under better control, your swelling will have gone down, youre much more mobile, youre sleeping much better at night, and you will hopefully have had time to mentally and emotionally recover. In other words, once you start feeling like youre old self , its probably safe to start thinking about work again.
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The Success Or Failure In Returning To Work After Knee Replacement
As demonstrated in the research above, many people have good success from total or partial knee replacement. But for some, results were not was expected.
In January 2020, doctors in Sweden produced an ambitious study to try to understand why a patient was not happy with their knee replacement when there were no obvious reasons that they should be. Especially when the surgery went without complication and was considered successful.
Here are some of the problems the patient reported and how it hindered them in their daily routine or trying to get back to work.
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