The Cartilage Restoration Center at Rush
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Return to Work After Knee Surgery

If you are having a reconstruction or a repair performed (i.e., ACL reconstruction, meniscus repair, cartilage transplant or other larger procedure), you might have a hinged brace on for four to six weeks after surgery. Your weight bearing will be adjusted in accordance with the procedure you had performed. You may be asked by Dr. Cole to protect your weight bearing for upwards of four to six weeks. During this time you will have two crutches in addition to the brace. Remember that you will likely be on some mild narcotic pain medications postoperatively and these should be discontinued before you return to work or drive. Please note that adjustments may need to be made at work accordingly. Simple adjustments such as a second chair to put your surgical leg on, availability of ice packs, and other "comfort items" can make a significant difference. It is reasonable to return to work safely when you feel like you can do so, as long as you are compliant with the brace recommendations and weight bearing restrictions provided to you by Dr. Cole after surgery.

After simpler knee surgeries such as knee arthroscopy with meniscectomy, cartilage debridement, etc., it is safe to return to work and be full weight bearing when you can tolerate doing so. You are then only going to be limited by your own soreness, stiffness, and discomfort. Please consider that for physical activities such as squatting, kneeling, climbing, and heavy lifting, you should likely plan to allow for four or more weeks of recovery before returning to these type of activities. If at any point you have questions regarding your return to work processes and postoperative activities, email Kyle and Natalie (Dr. Cole's Physician Assistants) at npodboy@rushortho.com or kpilz@rushortho.com.


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