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Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:46 AM   #1
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kindercarol HB User
How long before going back to work?

Hi All,
I'm 8 weeks post-op today from flat foot surgery. I've graduated from a hard cast to a boot, and can bear up to 50% of my weight on my new foot. In 2 more weeks I'm supposed to return to work as an elementary teacher...on my feet all day, and must take my class up and down stairs at least 3 times a day. I can't imagine how I'll be able to do it. I still need help getting around, I still go up and down stairs on my butt, and I still can't walk without the knee scooter or the walker. Also, I'm not allowed to drive.

I am comfortable going out socially, but when I'm out with friends or my hubby, I simply take my time and they help me with doors, carrying my things, and are tremendously patient.

Do you think I'm being overly cautious to fear the transition back to a busy classroom with 25 nine-year olds????

Please share your experiences and advice about going back to work at 10 weeks post-op.

Wishing everyone a good healing day!

Carol

 
Old 03-15-2010, 03:55 PM   #2
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DPart HB User
Re: How long before going back to work?

Sounds like you must teach 3rd grade (9 year olds). Last school year I also taught 3rd grade. I had my ankle fused in December. I was non weight bearing for 8 to 9 weeks. At ten weeks I returned to work at about 50% wb. I would never do it again if it could be avoided. My district had no disability and because I did not have tenure they presured me to return. It was very difficult to do on crutches. I was very good with crutches and still found it exhausting. Had many month of practice from the injury that caused the fusion. Getting the kids up and down the hall, copping, recess, moving marterials around the room. Other teachers are helpful at first, but it took a long time before I could give up crutches to do a job that you need to be on the move at all times. Soon I found myself alone to get everything done. I also believe it took longer to heal because I was using ankle to much. If you can don't go back until you can get around better. I did not have stairs at my school. I could have never done stairs 3 times a day. At home I came down in the morning and went up at night. Good luck I hope you heal fast!

Darryl

 
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Old 03-15-2010, 05:54 PM   #3
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cat farmer HB User
Re: How long before going back to work?

Carol,

I can't imagine returning to your job before 12 weeks - maybe even longer. I'm currently 13 weeks Post Op and just got the OK to wean off of my boot. Although I can walk without my cane, I find that going up & down stairs is still hard and is one quick way to "over do it".

Good Luck

CF

 
Old 03-16-2010, 07:57 AM   #4
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Re: How long before going back to work?

Hi DPart and cat farmer,
Thank you for your responses. I have no doubt that you're right. I'm truly scared I'll do damage to my recovery if I go back too soon. [B]Oh no.....[/B]
[B]not a risk I want to take.[/B]

I actaully teach fourth grade (the students are turning 10 this year) I feel guilty about asking for more time off, even though I have plenty of sick days to use.

DP, I can sympathize with you being caught up in the politics of your school. I'm concerned about the same thing myself, and I've been there for 20 years.
Overall, my school has always treated me very well, but I'm concerned with all the economic problems these days.

Wish me luck standing up for myself!

Carol

Happy healing to everyone!

 
Old 03-29-2010, 11:11 AM   #5
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kindercarol HB User
Re: How long before going back to work?

Hi All,
How's the healing?

I'm at 10 weeks post-op today. I went back to my doctor last week, and he approved another 4 weeks off from work for me. [U]I am very relieved[/U].

Teaching school is [I]buzz-buzz [/I]all day and I think my students are better off having their substitute teacher stay for a few more weeks.

Tomorrow, I start PT. It seems many others on this site have felt that their PT boosted their return to walking independently. I can't wait to begin!

I wish a comfortable Monday to everyone's feet!

Carol

 
Old 04-02-2010, 05:58 AM   #6
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Re: How long before going back to work?

I teach 2nd grade and am scheduled for surgery on April 9th. I'm taking the rest of the school year off and hope that I will be ready to go back at the beginning of the next school year, the beginning of August. I do worry about being on my feet all day, though.

Last edited by PeggyJM; 04-02-2010 at 05:58 AM.

 
Old 04-02-2010, 06:12 PM   #7
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kindercarol HB User
Re: How long before going back to work?

Hi Peggy,
Great idea to start this process on the front end of summer vacation. Were you teaching the last time you had this surgery? How long did it take you then to go back to work?

I'm sure it's difficult to know what lies ahead of you....but on the other hand, you've done it once, you [U]can[/U] do it again. Good luck.

 
Old 04-03-2010, 01:03 AM   #8
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Re: How long before going back to work?

Yes, I was teaching last time I had the surgery, too. Again, I was teaching overseas, but in a different school/country. I had the surgery done the end of October and went back after winter break...I'm thinking it was maybe the second week of January. I had a really good outcome the first time and recovered more quickly than the doctor thought I would. I went in every week for my foot position to be changed and get a new cast. (hard plaster type) He had told me that I would be doing that for 6-8 weeks and by 5 weeks he was surprised at my healing and put me in a removable boot and told me that I could bear weight as tolerated. I was still wearing a removable boot, but I was able to cope at work. (and I was teaching kindergarten at the time, which was worse!) I do remember, though, on the way back to my job having to transit in Amsterdam and the airline messed up and didn't have a wheelchair available...and I was practically in tears by the time I got to my new gate! My previous surgery was not done as outpatient surgery, though. (I was in for 2-3 days) This time, though, it apparently is done as outpatient and that concerns me. Last time they didn't let me out of bed until I could feel my foot and kept it numbed up for me the first few days. They were afraid that I would bump it if I couldn't feel it because I wouldn't have a sensation about where it was in space. So, I'm a bit nervous about post surgical pain and being able to get around at home that first day. Was that a problem for you? I'm also nervous about returning here in August as we live in a big city that is not very handicap friendly and we don't own a car, so I need to be in pretty decent shape before we return.

 
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