Return to work after occupational injury and upper limb amputation

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Oxford University Press


Background Upper limb injury can result in loss of function, and time away from work. However, the particular occupational consequences of upper limb amputation (ULA) are not well characterized. Aims To describe the characteristics of workers experiencing occupational ULA and their work outcomes. Methods In January 2015, we reviewed the Workers’ Rehabilitation Centre records of adults with ULAs in New Brunswick, Canada, going back to 1993. Results We examined 49 records. Overall, 82% of patients made an eventual return to work, returning after a median of 172 days (range 20–1645 days). Younger patients were more likely to return to work and did so sooner. Patients returning to work did not seem to change job type, as coded through the Canadian National Occupational Classification. Conclusions The majority (82%) of workers in our sample returned to work and to similar job types. In addition, age was a protective factor for return to work. Patients and occupational health clinicians should be reassured with regard to this aspect of their rehabilitation.