Cassandra Lipinski, MS, ATC, OTC
Athletic Trainer for Dr. Samuel Robinson
A question we often get from patient’s after their total knee replacement is “when can I drive?”
Factors that affect a person’s ability to drive after total joint replacement include type of joint replacement, surgery on left vs. right side, strength to react in an emergency, narcotic use, various comorbidities, and vehicle type.
A recent study by Rondon et al. examined the predictors for when patients are able to drive after total knee and hip replacements. The study evaluated both hip and knee replacement patients and touched on the specific differences between right and left lower extremity surgery. The article did note that those who underwent right sided lower extremity surgery did take longer to return to driving than did those that underwent left sided lower extremity surgery.
We always encourage our patients to be cautions with returning to driving as this can be dangerous for themselves and others. It is important to have the ability to react in an emergency when driving. As always, our main goal is to get patients back to living the life they want to lead!
Rondon A, Tan T, Goswami K, et al. When can I drive? Predictors of returning to driving after total joint arthroplasty. J Am Acad Ortho Surg. 2020;28:427-433.