How soon can your patients return to driving after Hip Arthr
Using brake reaction time to determine when it is safe to return to driving, researchers from Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine undertook work to determine if a difference exists in brake reaction time before versus after hip arthroscopy. Interestingly, the scientists found no difference in the brake reaction time of patients before versus after hip arthroscopy. The research was recently published in the January 12, 2017 edition of Arthroscopy: The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery.

The authors wrote, “A secondary purpose was to determine if post-operative brake reaction times were different from that of age- and gender-matched controls. All study patients underwent either right or left hip arthroscopy for symptomatic hip impingement and labral tear. Using a driving simulator, brake reaction time was measured pre-operatively and every two weeks post operatively for eight weeks. The sit-to-stand test was also measured at each testing session. At all time points following hip arthroscopy, brake reaction time was not different from pre-operative values or that of controls. There was a correlation between brake reaction time and the sit-to-stand test pre-operatively and at four and six weeks post-operatively. Prior studies found increased brake reaction time in patients who underwent other lower extremity surgeries compared to controls for up to six weeks post-operatively.”

Joshua Harris, M.D. was a co-author on the paper. He told OTW, “Orthopedic surgeons had little guidance on how to restrict post-surgery activities requiring fast reaction time due to a lack of research on the effects of hip arthroscopy on a patient’s brake reaction time. Surgeons can have confidence in permitting patients to drive two weeks post-surgery based on the results of this study.”

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