Patients who have shoulder surgery should wait six to 12 weeks before driving, according to a new study.
Researchers used a driving simulator to gauge how well 28 patients could drive after total shoulder arthroplasty. All of the patients were tested at four distinct time points before, during and after surgery.
The first test was conducted before patients had their joint replacement surgery. A second test was given two weeks after surgery. Third and fourth tests were conducted at six and 12 weeks post-surgery, according to a news release from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Researchers looked for simulator collisions, center-line crosses and off-road excursions. They found that the patients had fewer collisions as time progressed from their shoulder replacement surgery. Additionally, patients who drove less than 1,800 miles per year were more likely to have collisions compared to those who drove more than 8,700 miles per year.
“Patients showed improved driving performance at 12 weeks, with a significant decrease in the number of collisions in the simulated driving course…” the news release states. “The study authors recommend that patients wait at least six weeks, and optimally 12 weeks, to resume driving following shoulder replacement surgery.”
Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
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