Fitness for work

Guidelines on time off work after surgery are available at Working Fit.

Patients may need much less time off work than previously thought – belief plays a large part. New surgical techniques also help – the mesh used in hernia repair can stand any degree of loading immediately, so the advice to avoid heavy lifting for 12 weeks may be a thing of the past. However, the article then went on to say that wounds may not be able to stand weightlifting of more than 5 – 10 kg in the first couple of weeks, so I wasn’t quite clear whether this applied to hernia repairs or not.

Upper limb bones can take eight weeks to heal to the point of being capable of significant activity, and lower limb bones twelve weeks.

Age has surprisingly little effect on healing time, adding only an extra few days. Comorbidities – smoking, obesity, and diabetes – are far more important.

(Pulse learning module)

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About Dr Sarah

I'm a GP with a husband and two young children.
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