: We complied a case series involving 556 employed patients who sustained unilateral hand fractures requiring open reduction and internal fixation and a modification of their normal work activities and schedules. Time from injury to limited duty averaged 5 days, with 62% of the patients returning to work 1 day after surgery. Time from injury to resuming regular duty averaged 56 days. Both sexes averaged a return to work on limited duty after 5 days, but women returned to regular duty an average 5 days later than men. Patients with workers' compensation injuries, joint fractures, multiple fractures, tendon and/or nerve disruptions, and fractures requiring metal fixation rather than periosteal sutures required longer periods on off-duty and limited-duty statuses.
(C)1993 The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine