When you have your 2 week follow up with your doctor, make sure you get your temporary disabled parking application form from him or her. Also make sure the form is signed, dated and if you can get the maximum ‘privilege duration’ marked off the better. In Washington state it is 6 months and a sample application is shown below:
This parking permit will help out a lot in the course of your injury especially in the beginning phase of your recovery. I’m not trying to advocate laziness by taking advantage of being able to park closer, but you will be spending enough time with rehab via physical therapy, gym, and/or some other form of strength and conditioning for your leg(s) – I mean really! You just went or are going through one of the worst leg injuries that can be endured so a little convenience here and there is deserved. Besides driving will be challenging enough 😉
The disabled parking permit was a huge help for me this time around since I have two dogs to take for their daily walks and having found an off-leash dog park near my area that had disabled access was such a relief. Let me tell you, walking two dogs with two leg braces is very difficult and oh did I mention, not very safe. I didn’t want to take a chance of re-injuring my legs yet again.
Also with my new job I started, taking the bus wasn’t an option in the beginning since the bus stop was quite a long ways away from my office and there were a few areas that had quite the steep downhill walk. I didn’t want to take a chance with walking downhill especially the first 6 weeks after surgery when your leg braces are locked straight. So parking in the employee handicap stall was a huge bonus.
By the time your parking permit expires your leg(s) should have rehabilitated enough that driving shouldn’t be a problem anymore. Your ROM after the 6 month mark should be way past 90 degrees. Of course everyone’s rate of recovery is different so there might be quadders who might not be at the range of motion that allows for driving.