How long till you went back to work?????

Posted , 10 users are following.

I am 5 weeks post op now. I work in a hospital 12 hour shifts on my feet mostly. I am just wondering how long it actually has taken everyone to get back to work and life that is normal! I know everyone heals different but I constantly find myself googling How long for this ...How long for that with my knee. I just wish I knew when this knee would be functionable again to where I can live my fun life again!

Thanks!

Melissa

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  • Posted

    im 8 weeks post op and couldnt go back to work yet, one hour on my feet would be bad enough but 12, no way, i would think 12 weeks and then only part time,

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  • Posted

    Typically...

    Your ROM work is done in the first three months while you get off the heavy-duty pain killers. Most have their 0 / +120 ROM back by 12 weeks. Takes a lot of work at PT and home. Then you have to start rebuilding your dead/atrophied muscles...quads, glutes and core. This gets you off any remaining appliances plus lets you walk normally, regain your balance and starts giving you the strength to do stairs. This is usually done in the 3-9 month period.

    Going back to work depends on a lot of factors and the muscle rebuild is one of them because it takes the pressure off the knee and puts it back on the supporting muscles where it belongs. Returning to work in 3 months is usually unsuccessful because of the muscle issues...not enough time for the knee to heal and the muscles to get strong again. Most are back to work in the 4-6 month range depending on the above factors plus type of job, hours on your feet, age, general health, etc.

    A nurse "running the halls" for 12 hours? You need to do some serious muscle work to be able to handle that in the 4-6 month range. If you're not ready, there will likely be pain, swelling, and more. Gotta avoid that by getting strong ASAP.

    Yes, there are those lucky few who have beaten the odds...but after reading over 5,000 posts on here, it's not likely. The knee is in total control and cannot be pushed or you just get more swelling. You will know when you're ready. If you can do 10,000 steps a day consistently with no pain or swelling, you can probably give it a shot.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for this great information! Currently 5 weeks post op. My extension is -3 and flex is 100-110. I don't know if at this point I'm on target or behind where I should be at 5 weeks! My Dr is all over me about the knee extension being 0..

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    • Posted

      Sounds good for five weeks. The target is 0 / +120 at twelve. Remember: advances, setbacks and plateaus...all part of the game. I got stuck at -4 for weeks and then broke through. It takes strength and determination. At 2 1/2 years post-op, I'm more like 0 / +133. Here are some great ROM exercises for home...#3 will absolutely get you to zero straight because gravity is a law and it must be obeyed...

      https://patient.info/forums/discuss/tkr-rom-work-at-home-620053

      I mentioned the 10,000 steps a day goal. Get a fit bit or smart watch to track your steps. Progress is measured in steps, not time or miles. If you go too far one day, you will have pain and swelling. Back off to recover and then resume gradually. There are no giant recovery leaps...everything is slow and steady. Once you can do the major walking without pain or swelling, work should be a whole lot easier.

      Understand that nursing is so unique. Sitting, standing, "running the halls"... My wife was a certified psychiatric nurse in state mental hospitals for 30 years...I've heard the stories!!! You have to be in physical shape plus your knee has to be really healed to do that job. Here's the exercise plan for the muscle rebuild...

      https://patient.info/forums/discuss/post-tkr-exercising-565527

      Get as strong as you can in addition to the walking. You want all that pressure off the knee and back on the muscles. Good luck.

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  • Posted

    Hi Melissa i have a very manual job also three flights of stairs to cope with, on my first TKR 15 weeks before i went back then on a phased return big help that,now 15 months knee is brilliant,just had my second TKR done 5 days ago as well.

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    • Posted

      That's great! I'm glad the knee is perfect

      I am just so worried by the way I feel now I'm never gonna get back to work. Right now there's no way I can do my job! I have already started researching administrative work because I just feel like I can't do my job anymore. Thank you for giving me hope that I will do my job again! Best wishes on a speedy painless recovery on the new knee!

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    • Posted

      Just remember that too much sitting can be equally hard on the knees unless you are able to get up and walk and stretch every hour. The dependent dangling of the leg at a desk can increase swelling, causing stiffness and pain. I took a temporary desk nursing job about 9 months ago and my knee pain actually got worse d/t being too sedentary. Hopefully you can find the right balance. You're only at 5 weeks and it sounds like you are progressing really well. Don't panic or sell yourself short. Keep up the good work and I bet you will be amazed with your progress over the next few weeks.

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    • Posted

      Hey Dee! Thanks for all the valuable information!.I am kinda panicky about my progress because my surgeon literally chewed me out 2weeks after because my knee wasnt straight! I see him again on the 30th and have been working really hard exercising at home and with PT that I go to 3 times a week. Currently -3.

      My PT is very happy with my progress but it's that impression the surgeon left that has me thinking its not good enough. PT started putting weights on my knee with it propped up on a wedge for 8 mins. All I can say is OUCH!! That's the worst pain outta all of my exercises!!

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    • Posted

      Yes I had that done to me too last time and it can hurt like heck. You will get there - you're so close! Trust your PT and have faith in your hard work. The surgeons have their role in this, but our PT know what they are doing and would let you know if they have any concerns with your progress. Hang in there, it sounds like you are doing great. Look at how far you've come! 😃

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  • Posted

    It was 6 month before I returned to work. My job as a service engineer involved driving, some carrying and some kneeling. After my operations I worked hard on my physio and exercise. That was 20 and 18½ years ago, and I have had no problems since. Delay your return to work as long as possible, the better your recovery the easier work will be.

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    • Posted

      That's great!So seems like the time frame for physical work is approx 4-6 months recovery! I have to have the other knee done too so I have a long way to go. The life you have had on your new knees is wonderful! Glad no problems!

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    • Posted

      Six month for me, but everyone is different some may be ok at 4 to 6 months a few may recover quicker and some take longer. One person's recovery cant be judged against another's recovery. It takes as long as it takes. You wont do yourself any favours if you return to work too soon, unfortunately many have to return early for financial reason.

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  • Posted

    hi i went back after 16wks good luck with standing for 12hrs i work nights 10hrs and by the time morning comes all i want is my bed the knee has become stiff and the hip hurts do what you can dont rush back

    you will read some great advice on here good luck

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