Osteoarthrosis is the most common joint disease in the world. It can affect all the joints in the body, but it most commonly affects the hands, knees, and hips. The disorder causes the cartilage in the joints to break down. In some severe cases of osteoarthrosis it can even cause the cartilage to disappear completely. Common symptoms indicating that you’re suffering from osteoarthrosis are pain, primarily when the joints are stressed, and stiffness. This makes it difficult to move and continue living as usual. In these situationsö sick leave for short periods of time can be appropriate.
Osteoarthrosis disease in the knee
If you’re affected by osteoarthrosis in the knee, it can cause the joint to ache when it’s being stressed. Another symptom of osteoarthrosis is stiffness in the affected joint. Some people feel pain not only during movement and stress but also during rest. If you have a physically demanding job, the symptoms can lead to difficulties performing daily tasks, and it’s possible to take sick leave for a short period of time because of the pain associated with an osteoarthrosis disease.
Sick leave because of osteoarthrosis
It can be good to know that it’s possible to both prevent and treat osteoarthrosis. A good idea is to examine different risk factors in order to prevent osteoarthrosis before the disease escalates. But even if the symptoms of osteoarthrosis have appeared, there is treatment available before sick leave becomes necessary.
The first step towards healthier joints is to talk to a physiotherapist. The physiotherapist makes a diagnosis followed by a plan of action with customized exercises. If these exercises are painful to perform, you can buy a knee brace. This is tailored to give support and relieve pressure. This knee brace is known as a soft orthosis.
There’s no specially developed osteoarthrosis medicine, but during the periods of pain when the pain is the worst, you may need to supplement the exercise regimen with painkillers. However, these should never be seen as a permanent solution and should only be used for a short period of time.
If neither exercise nor painkillers help, it may be necessary to take a short period of sick leave because of the osteoarthrosis. The decision is made in consultation with a doctor at your local care centre. Sick leave is not a right, it’s readjustment insurance, paid for by the state, and should therefore be seen as a short-term solution. Additionally, sick leave doesn’t cure osteoarthrosis. Therefore, in the long term, it should be discussed with the employer if there are possibilities of changing work tasks or using some type of aid which alleviates the stress on the joint affected by osteoarthrosis. Another possibility is to reduce the amount of working hours or change the type of work.
Surgery and sick leave because of osteoarthrosis
1 out of 3 people affected by Osteoarthrosis experience such severe discomfort and pain that they sooner or later must undergo surgery. Surgery may involve replacing the joint with a prosthesis, which is the case with osteoarthrosis in knee and hip joints . After a prosthesis surgery, you’re usually given sick leave up to three months, depending on how physically demanding your work is. During this time you’re rehabilitated by a physiotherapist. Those who have actively exercised before surgery have an advantage in the postoperative training.
If you suspect you have osteoarthrosis
Many people mistakenly believe their osteoarthrosis is just a sign of natural aging and don’t get diagnosed in time. An examination normally begins by booking an appointment with a doctor or physiotherapist, who will review the medical history. If osteoarthrosis is the cause of the symptoms, you can get a referral to a physiotherapist for training or to an orthopedist if the symptoms are so severe that surgery might be necessary.
Finding your way back to work with osteoarthrosis
In the case of sick leave because of osteoarthrosis, it’s important to avoid a long period of sick leave. That’s why it’s important to consult your doctor and physiotherapist about the situation to plan how to return to work in the best way possible. At this stage it’s important that you feel you’re able to present your thoughts on what’s best for you in this situation.