Returning to Work
- Returning to work after an injury is never easy to do, but studies show it's easier to return the less you stay away. It's always important to listen to your doctor as you may be advised to restrict yourself of certain tasks that require physical activity like lifting, squatting and even walking. Here we go over returning to work with a below-the-knee injury. Whether your foot or ankle injury was work-related or recreational, getting back to work quickly will allow you to also return to your normal life as fast as possible.
If you get injured on the job, you will most likely be going through a workers compensation program to return to work. Slipping or falling is the most common cause for below-the-knee injuries in the workplace, and can happen to a variety of professions. These workers range from nurses to more labor-oriented jobs like roofers and carpenters.
But what if your injury wasn't caused in the workplace?
Recreational foot and ankle injuries can come from daily or elective activities such as playing sports, working out, or having any kind of accident. If you aren't required to do physical activity for your job, you may have an easier time returning to work after these types of accidents. If your job does require you to be on your feet, then you may need to do more to prepare for your return to work.
Working with your doctor and your employer to draw up a recovery plan can make your return much easier. Things you should consider in this plan include communicating the nature and extent of your injury, reasonable accommodations for your position (like working the register at a grocery store versus collecting grocery carts from the parking lot), and regular updates to the employer from the doctor through notes.
Because your job is not legally guaranteed to be available after an injury, it is incredibly important to make it so that you can return to work in a timely manner that also allows you to suitably perform your job functions. This is why choosing the proper mobility device is essential to your recovery.
A knee walker is an assistive device that allows you to rest your injured foot while propelling yourself with your good one. Once you establish your balance and comfort, they can even be faster than walking!
Traditional assistive devices such as canes and crutches will not allow workers in industries like healthcare, industry and labor to perform their duties as well as if they were uninjured. If you are a doctor in a hospital, navigating the different floors and corridors can take over twice as long on crutches. Educational professionals who have to travel to different classrooms or campuses have the same issue. That's why knee walkers, or knee scooters, are a great solution for returning to work after a below-the-knee injury.
Even when returning to work for sedentary positions, you still have obstacles in the workday. How will you maneuver around tight spaces with cubicles and desks? How will you transfer physical files quickly to coworkers? While crutches take up the use of both your arms and hands, a knee walker allows a constant rest for your injured leg. Baskets (included or added depending on the model) give you a place to put your items for transport.
Additionally, knee scooters have been shown to reduce injury time due to decreased risk of reinjury, and mentally help users by allowing them more ability to get out of the house and continue daily life. Going back to work physically is one thing, with the added mental benefit, knee walkers do not compare to canes and crutches.
At Rent a Knee Walker, we have had many happy customers in a wide ranges of work forces able to return to work quickly with our knee scooter rentals. If this sounds like a great option for you, rent a knee scooter with us today by clicking browse our models.
What knee scooter is the best for returning to work?
Because most workplaces involve tight spaces and close quarters, we recommend the Swivelmate Knee Walker. This premium model is the only knee walker on the market that can navigate with 90-degree turns, the next best scooter caps out at 45 degrees.
It's compact design and easy foldability allow it to be stored away using little space which is great for transporting into a cab or vehicle for your commute. The included basket enables the user to carry important workplace items like files, notes, and other essential supplies. You can even add-on a Drink Cup Holder for your morning coffee too!
The unique hand-brake parking system is ideal for jobs like teaching, hairdressing or food workers. By simply flipping the hand brake on either side in an outward position, you can brake your scooter allowing you to stand for long periods of time while your scooter remains idle.
If you travel across multiple surfaces for work, for instance a job that requires travel through airports, or professors walking across campus on different terrains, a great all-terrain knee walker options is the Orthomate. It's air-filled tires allow for a smoother ride, and it's much more lightweight and easy to transport than bigger-wheeled all-terrain knee walker options.
Here are some of our customers and their testimonials of using a knee scooter getting back to work.
Terrilyn from Louisville loved her Swivelmate Knee Walker after trying crutches and having difficulty carrying her work supplies. She even found joy racing her coworkers!
"A colleague of mine was also on a scooter due to a fractured foot. She was SO jealous of my knee walker rental! Mine was more comfortable, had more accessories, AND had a much better turning radius and braking system.
I tried crutches for one day but I walk too much and have to carry too much at my job! The knee walker made me more productive because not only could I transport a lot in my basket, I could speed past my colleagues in the corridor!"
Julie M from Newark, DE was able to return to work as a school nurse.
"Thanks to your fabulous knee scooter I was able to return to Delcsatle High School working as a School Nurse. We have 1600 students, some with special needs. We require two full time nurses. I am able to help all of my students and staff with the help of my scooter."
Cathy from Tennessee, a Facilities and Operations Analyst, was able to return to work managing a 75k square foot facility thanks to her Swivelmate.
"This knee scooter has been a tremendous help in my day to day operations. Thank you for engineering such an amazing scooter!"
Andrew, who travels extensively for work, was able to navigate airports with ease on his knee scooter. See our blog about travelling with a knee scooter for more information on travel logistics with knee walkers.
"Just days after accident, getting my knee walker was invaluable and allowed me to keep working."
Anita from Columbia, South Carolina was in a workplace slip and fall but was able to return to work at a high school athletic department employee.
"I slipped on some food in the hallway at school and creaked my Foot. Oh boy, this would have slowed me down but with this scooter, I'm able to get around the school to delivery paperwork with my Knee walker BASKET!! This the Beat the EVER a Basket!! I am outside at the school portables which we have over 20 outside.
I could NOT have gotten my JOB for the past 8 weeks if I had not had this knee walker with the BASKET. This was the only way I could have gotten around my JOB/ High school I would Recommend this knee Walker to everyone with a big Smile, Thanks so MUCH!"
Emily from Pennsylvania, who was also 36 weeks pregnant in this photo, was able to more than just continue work as a nurse practitioner!
"Amazing! Life saver! Allowed me to continue working as a nurse practitioner and get my Christmas shopping done."
Susy from Burbank, CA was able to continue her veterinary services with her Swivelmate Knee Walker.
"At my job as a veterinary surgeon at a humane society."
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