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Knee & Hip Problems Message Board
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:38 PM   #1
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Unhappy Driving after surgery

Hi Everyone,

I'm Lisa. I am 3 weeks post op from microfracture knee surgery with debriedment and meniscal tear removal. I went into the surgery to get the meniscus and debriedment taken care of and came out with a bonus surgery that is making me be on crutches for 6 weeks. I'm going nuts feeling helpless and depressed. I can't even carry a can of soda to the kitchen table without putting it on the floor and rolling it or putting it in the waist of my pants! I hate crutches with a passion.

I was looking for someone who has had this surgery before.....when were you able to drive a car? How did your recovery go? What were your experiences? When were you able to bend/kneel/return to work?

Thanks!! Looking forward to chatting with you!

 
Old 03-28-2012, 12:40 AM   #2
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Re: Driving after surgery

Hi Lisa -- welcome,

I had a microfracture and labral debridement in my hip, and went back to work five days post-op. I would not recommend doing so! No one told me about the also unexpected microfracture until my two week check up, so I was going up and down stairs, even though contraindicated for a microfracture. You do have to get creative with crutches; carrying food/beverages is difficult! A backpack can help. Or putting closed beverages in a plastic grocery bag -- it might swing around a bit but you can hold the handle along with the crutch handle.

A couple of things I have learned after recovering from multiple surgeries. The ban on driving is geared toward keeping you safe and keeping your operated leg from getting stressed. So, the first issue is whether you are still on pain medications and whether you are alert enough to drive. The second issue would rest on how far you are driving and whether your left or right leg was operated on, if you drive an automatic. If you feel that you are ready to drive, contact your surgeon and explain your readiness along with how far you would be driving. Wait until your doctor clears you, though.

I also found that it was a lot easier to work part-time and ease back into work. Now that I have recovered my sanity, I have taken four weeks off work for my last three surgeries (two hip and one back), then started working two-three days per week for 6 hours per day. If your work can be done from home, take advantage while mixing in a day or two in the office. Hopefully, your employer is willing to work with you, and I think most employers would prefer knowing you are going to work Monday, Wednesday and Friday, than expecting you five days and having you call in sick Thursday and Friday, because you just got worn out from working earlier in the week.

 
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:51 AM   #3
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Smile Re: Driving after surgery

I had my right knee operated on. I was done with painkillers a few weeks ago. I'm going to give my dr. a call today. The only thing I am worried about is if I have to slam the brakes on. I'm only allowed to put 50 lbs of pressure on my right leg.

A backpack is a great idea! Thanks.

As for my job, I am a nursing assistant and it's a very physical job. Lifting, pushing, pulling, pivoting (50-250lbs), kneeling, squatting, walking up to 20,000 steps a day.

Needless to say, I won't be cleared for work for another month or two. Unfortunately where I work they don't allow for light duty

 
Old 03-28-2012, 08:53 PM   #4
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Re: Driving after surgery

Bummer about not being able to go back to work. Can you volunteer at a hospital? With your nursing assistant background, this could be a good fit. Reading to patients with vision problems, or something non-physical to get out of the house for a couple of hours a week.

I've participated in a program called Reading to Kids -- it's a low commitment program, you can come once for a couple hours or every week.

 
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