23 March 2015
A new study has suggested that patients who undergo hip replacement surgery could be safe to drive just two weeks after their procedure.
The research, presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), highlights the significance of improvements in surgical, pain management and rehabilitation procedures. This has meant that people having a total hip replacement (THR) could be safe to drive just a couple of weeks after, rather than having to wait the current recommended time of between six and eight weeks.
In the study, which was published in the Journal of Arthroplasty, researchers looked at 38 patients who had a THR between 2013 and 2014. Each participant's driving performance was evaluated with the Brake Reaction Test (BRT), which measures brake time reaction after a stimulus.
All patients took the test before the procedure to determine a baseline reaction time, and then agreed to be retested at two, four and six weeks after surgery. Patients were allowed to drive when their postoperative reaction time was equal to or less than their preoperative baseline reaction time.
The majority of patients (87 per cent) achieved their baseline time within two weeks, while the rest took four weeks.
Posted by Jeanette Royston
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