This is actually a tricky question, so many factors are involved, like the method of treatment chosen , type of fracture and ofcourse the patient himself … some dont want to get back to work .. lol.
What i will be discussing here is only a general guideline and is not to be taken as an absolute criteria… don’t expect the fracture to unite on a particular day by evening 5 pm just because your surgeon said it will take 2 weeks … what we need to understand is the ability to unite is inherent in bone and as surgeons we only create a smooth situation to facilitate union and returning back to function .
Union is achieved slower in adults than in children …it takes at least 2 months for the thigh bone to unite and consolidate .. so its safe to assume that a person can go back to work in 8 to 10 weeks after getting operated on thigh bone.The leg bone might take 6 to 8 weeks after surgery.
The arm bone and the forearm bones might take at least 8 weeks to get back to normal function… Since the upper limb bones do different functions, unlike the weight bearing function of lower limb bones… mild work which does’nt put lot of strain may be started early around 4 to 5 weeks… but again it depends on the mode of treatment.
The general concept is that, the patient can return back to work at a earlier stage after surgery, than if treated by conservative method , provoided the indications for both method are correct…. sometimes there can be a delayed union which can happen if its a open fracture or if there is a infection . other parameters like compliance of the patient to the surgeons instructions also can matter.
So its important to understand the time frame to get back to work can marginally change from what the surgeon predicts and from individual to individual …But the average time frame is the same as i have discussed above.
Hope to meet you again with another topic.