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Case Manager

Return to Work Protocols for Richard Lehman, MD

ACL Reconstruction

This is our general return to work guideline for ACL reconstructions. This guideline may change slightly depending on the needs of the patient and their job requirements.

Off Work: 2 weeks
Clerical Work (no squatting, kneeling, or ladders, minimize stairs, no standing or walking 4-6 hours in an 8 hour day, primarily sit down work): 6 weeks
Light Duty (lifting restrictions 10-20 lbs): 6-12 weeks
Medium Duty (lifting restrictions 30-50 lbs): 3-4 months
Regular Duty (no restrictions): 4-6- months

  • Physical therapy starts within 5-7 days
  • Patients are seen at 2, 6, 12 weeks, 4 or 5 months, and 6 months.
  • 50% of patients go back to full duty at their 4 month visit.
  • 75% go back at 5 months.
  • 90% go back at 6 months.
  • If patients are not ready at 4 months they are sent to work hardening.
  • MMI is usually 1 month after the patient is released to full duty.

Elbow Arthoscopy

This is our general return to work guideline for elbow arthroscopies. This guideline may change slightly depending on the needs of the patient and their job requirements.

Off Work: 2 weeks
Clerical Work (no lifting, one arm duties only): 2 weeks
Light Duty (lifting restriction 10-12 lbs.): 6-8 weeks
Regular Duty (no restrictions): 8-10 weeks

  • Patients are seen at 2, 6, 8 and 10 weeks.
  • 50% of patients go back to full duty at their 6 week visit.
  • 75% go back at 8 weeks
  • 90% go back at 10 weeks
  • If patients are not ready at 6 weeks they are sent to work hardening.
  • MMI is usually 1 month after the patient is released to full duty.

Knee Arthroscopy – Partial Meniscectomy

This is our general return to work guideline for knee arthroscopy/partial meniscectomy. This guideline may change slightly depending on the needs of the patient and their job requirements.

Off Work: 2 weeks
Clerical Work (no squatting, kneeling, or ladders, minimize stairs, no standing or walking 4-6 hours in an 8 hour day, primarily sit down work): 2-6 weeks
Regular Duty (no restrictions): 6-10 weeks

  • Physical therapy starts within 3-5 days.
  • Patients are seen at 2, 6, 8 and 10 weeks.
  • 50% of patients go back to full duty at their 6 week visit.
  • 25% go back at 8 weeks
  • 90% go back at 10 weeks
  • If patients are not ready at 8 weeks they are sent to work hardening.
  • MMI is usually 1 month after the patient is released to full duty.

Labral/Slap Repair

This is our general return to work guideline for labral and slap repairs. This guideline may change slightly depending on the needs of the patient and their job requirements.

Off Work: 2 weeks
Clerical Work (no lifting, one arm duties only): 2-6 weeks
Light Duty (lifting restriction 10-12 lbs.): 6-12 weeks
Regular Duty (no restrictions): 3-6 months

  • Physical therapy starts within 5-7 days.
  • Patients are seen at 2, 6, 12 weeks, 4 or 5 months, and 6 months.
  • 50% of patients go back to full duty at their 4 month visit.
  • 75% go back at 5 months
  • 90% go back at 6 months
  • If patients are not ready at 4 months they are sent to work hardening.
  • MMI is usually 1 month after the patient is released to full duty.

Rotator Cuff Repair

This is our general return to work guideline for arthroscopic rotator cuff repairs. This guideline may change slightly depending on the needs of the patient and their job requirements.

Off Work: 2 weeks
Clerical Work (no lifting, one arm duties only): 2-6 weeks
Light Duty (lifting restriction 10-12 lbs. below shoulder level): 6-12 weeks
Regular Duty (no restrictions): 3-5 months

  • Patients are seen at 2, 6, 12 weeks, 4 , 5 and 6 months.
  • 50% of patients go back to full duty at their 4 month visit.
  • 75% go back at 5 months
  • 90% go back at 6months
  • If patients are not ready at 4 months they are sent to work hardening.
  • MMI is usually 1 month after the patient is released to full duty.
  • Larger tears may require prolonged time in a sling and greater care with PT, and may take longer to return to work.

Shoulder Arthroscopy – Decompression/Distal Clavicle Excision

This is our general return to work guideline for arthroscopic decompression/distal clavicle excision. This guideline may change slightly depending on the needs of the patient and their job requirements.

Off Work: 2 weeks
Clerical Work (no lifting, one arm duties only): 2-6 weeks
Light Duty (lifting restriction 10-12 lbs.): 6-8 weeks
Regular Duty (no restrictions): 8-12 weeks

  • Physical therapy starts within 3-5 days.
  • Patients are seen at 2, 6, 8, and 12 weeks.
  • 50% of patients go back to full duty at their 6 week visit.
  • 75% go back at 8 weeks
  • 90% go back at 12 weeks
  • If patients are not ready at 6 weeks they are sent to work hardening.
  • MMI is usually 1 month after the patient is released to full duty.