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Broken leg - returning to work

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by rosie74posie, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. rosie74posie

    rosie74posie New commenter

    Does anyone have any experience of returning to work after a broken leg? I had a bad break and signed off initially for 6 weeks which takes me up to my review appt /X-ray. ( three weeks away) For this time, I am only touch weight bearing- ie no weight on the leg, just touching it to balance when moving very slowly on crutches to go to the loo. I generally keep it elevated when sitting.
    I just can’t imagine being able to do my job. I teach three days a week in a ks1 classroom, quite tight fit with furniture and quite lively kids. To get there I need to drive or use the tube, (both stations with lots and LOTS of steps and can’t drive for weeks. I broke both bones in lower right leg and crack in ankle too. Im expecting to be signed off for longer and just not sure how I could physically do my normal day when I do go back. I also can’t carry or move anything etc.
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    What does your GP say? My sense (from a totally non-medical expert PoV) is that it would be unsafe for you to return just yet. Or your consultant.
    The last thing you need is for it to become re-injured so that it takes many more months to heal...
    Can you think of any adjustments which could be made for when you do return to work? It is always better to approach SLT with solutions rather than problems.
  3. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    As well as advice from GP/Consultant, I'd speak to your Union so they can advise on procedures for returning to school (at a point some time away, I'd guess from what you say). The school may need to make adjustments - the Union can help with this, I'd say.
  4. rosie74posie

    rosie74posie New commenter

    I’m guessing closer to the time I’ll need to discuss it with SLT. I have an appt next week just to check up with the consultant so I’m hoping there will be time to discuss this. I’ve been thinking of adjustments but it’s hard. I have someone with me in the mornings but not all afternoons. Even the height of the tables makes it tricky as they’re so low!
  5. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    There's no such thing as a broken leg. There's you, your role and your broken leg.

    Not only can you not do it. You're a liability in the classroom! You're a disaster waiting to happen! No way would I want you back in your condition.

    Do your physio and stay safe. Work should be the last thing on your mind. Take the sick pay and get better. Nothing else.
  6. bigfatgit

    bigfatgit Occasional commenter

    Would be interesting to see if the school insurance covered this.
    When I was on crutches / in plaster, the head refused to let me on the premises, never mind in the classroom, as he said the school insurance didn't cover me for further injury or anything i caused as a result of a fall etc
  7. rosie74posie

    rosie74posie New commenter

    Thank you for your replies. :) I feel better.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  8. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    EDIT - duplicated!
  9. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    The school would be required to do a risk assessment if you were coming back before you were fully well. They'd probably not want you in doing your normal job for a while I'd guess.

    In my experience of breaking a leg I was off initially until I was sufficiently mobile and for the first couple of weeks back had my hours changed to allow me to go in later to avoid rush hour on the tube and also changing my role slightly that allowed me to spend my time there sitting.

    Hope the mend goes well!
  10. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I had a colleague who was off for best part of six months recovering from a broken leg. I'm guessing that you will be off for a good while yet. At a guess, the initial six weeks was just a minimum that applies to anyone, even those working in a sedentary job from home, and perhaps at the next appointment you will be able to discuss how long it is likely to be before you are fit enough for a KS1 classroom.
  11. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    There's no rule on these things. It comes down to whether the person is fit and able to complete their job (and that will also include emergency responses e.g. fire evacuations).

    You need to get medical advice and go in honest. Don't feel pressured into minimising how you'll struggle by. If you need time off to recover then you should take the time to fully heal.
    Look after yourself.
  12. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I had a broken knee a few years ago. It was in plaster for 6 weeks. I managed to return 4 weeks after my plaster came off but that was to teach secondary, mostly 6th form. My consultant wanted to sign me off for longer. It was tough, even with lifts organised for the first few weeks.
    agathamorse likes this.
  13. maggie m

    maggie m Lead commenter

    A few years back a colleague broke his arm. He was not allowed to be in a class alone until the plaster was off due to school insurance. He came in to teach year 11 as it was very close to gcse's but another teacher had to sit in the room with him.
    agathamorse likes this.
  14. Spiritwalkerness

    Spiritwalkerness Star commenter

    Same here - broken wrist. Plus, it would have been vitually impossible to get there as I couldn't drive and small village schools where I live tend to have one bus a fortnight!
    dodie102 and agathamorse like this.
  15. smurphy6

    smurphy6 Lead commenter

    I was off five months after having a hip replacement. I needed that time to heal and be safe in the classroom. I went back and it’s been great ever since. Don’t rush back, it’s not an office job where you can be desk bound all day, classrooms are busy places full of furniture and what not. Best wishes for a good recovery.
  16. lynneseptember

    lynneseptember Senior commenter

    I agree with bigfatgit - it’s unlikely that the school insurance would cover you returning until you were properly mobile, as you would still be a liability. You have to put yourself first - it sounds like a very bad break from how you describe it, which is going to take time to heal, and you will probably need quite a bit of physiotherapy before your leg is strong enough to cope with the rigours of getting about. Follow the advice of the medical practitioners, and don’t try to rush things. Your role in a KS1 classroom is most definitely not a sedentary role - keep this in mind. Take care.
    jlishman2158 and agathamorse like this.
  17. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Six weeks is way to short a time
  18. Penguinitis

    Penguinitis Occasional commenter

    I was off 5 months with a broken leg - it takes as long as it takes. Just try to enjoy the enforced immobility - I didn’t have WiFi or twitter when I did mine!
    jlishman2158 likes this.
  19. Penguinitis

    Penguinitis Occasional commenter

    Just to add, my cover turned out to be delightful and got a ft job out it. Silver linings and all that..
    jlishman2158 likes this.
  20. curlcurlcurl

    curlcurlcurl Occasional commenter

    I had a broken leg and was off for five weeks. I returned on the final week before having my cast removed as I didn’t want to risk having to extend my induction period.

    I was bound to a chair and school had to organise a cover supervisor to be in with me for all lessons to hand our books, resources and do anything else I generally couldn’t manage due to being immobile.

    This didn’t get easier once the cast was off and I was in a space boot. In fact, students often ended up taking a trip down to medical to retrieve me an ice pack and giggled in curiosity as I deflated my space boot!

    Please don’t underestimate the physical toll it will take on you. I often came home and needed to sleep very within half an hour of arriving back home, still broad daylight outside and early evening, due to the exertion and my body needing time to heal. This was even without year 11 being there as it was summer term and the exam series was complete. People who say you can carry on as normal as it’s only a broken bone often have no idea of how much of an effort healing it actually is!

    Wishing you a speedy recovery.
    agathamorse and jlishman2158 like this.

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