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How Long After Knee Replacement Can You Drive

How Soon Can I Fly After Knee Replacement

When Can I Drive After Total Hip Or Knee Replacement

It is usually safe to take a short flight a week after surgery as long as you do not have blood clots in your legs. Long flights are best avoided during the first few months after surgery, as there is a risk of deep vein thrombosis .

If you must travel, we recommend you wear TED stockings, mobilise throughout the flight as much as possible and if possible keep your legs elevated when seated during the flight. If it is necessary to travel long distances, then speak to your GP or Professor Bill Walter prior to doing so.

How Soon Can I Drive After Knee Replacement

The Roads & Traffic Authority recommends you should generally not drive for six weeks following a knee replacement. In order to be safe driving a car after a knee replacement, you must be able to control the pedals properly and you must not be taking strong pain medications that could impair your judgement or reaction time.

As you get to the six-week mark, ask yourself if you would be able to stop quickly if a pedestrian ran in front of your vehicle. If you feel you could not react quickly enough, wait a little longer.

Sex After A Joint Replacement: The Definitive How

May 25, 2016 | Patient

Discussing sex in any amount of detail with a medical professional can be uncomfortable. So much so, it can take mature adults right back to that sinking in chair feeling from junior high sex-ed class. Take the topic of sex and add it to the fact that youll be undergoing surgery, are in pain, and have likely endured limited mobility for some time, and the topic becomes even more overwhelming. For these reasons, weve decided to put together this no-holds-barred post on all things post-op sex. With the guidance of orthopaedic surgeons, Dr. Nima Mehran and Dr. Trevor North, well walk you through some FAQ, break down safe positions for men and women after their replacements, and encourage some Q and A in our comments section.

Lets dive in, shall we?

But before we do, its worth sharing that majority of patients report that their sex lives improved dramatically after having a hip or knee replacement. In fact, according to a controlled study put out by a group of New York physicians measuring patient sex lives after joint replacement surgery:

  • 42% of post-op patients reported an improvement in libido
  • 36% of patients reported increased intercourse duration
  • 41% of patients reported increased intercourse frequency
  • 55% had improved sexual self-image
  • 84% had improvement in general well-being
  • 90% patients had improved overall sexual function .

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The Arthroplasty Society Of Australia & The Australian Orthopaedic Association Have Updated Their Driving Advice Following Orthopaedic Surgery

They point out that most Australian states do not have specific requirements, but that in general, patient having right leg surgery need to be able to perform an emergency stop, and that might be 4 6 weeks following surgery.

We have previously undertaken a study demonstrating with out Local Infiltration Analgesia and re-infusion technique, that all patients by 11 days had reaction times bettering the states that have a requirement . Right sided knee replacements were the slowest group to regain reaction time in braking on our testing machine, which required 20kg of force to the brake peddle.

Our advice remains:1. You cant drive if you cant walk unaided2. You cant drive whilst using narcotics or narcotic patches3. Hip replacement patients need care getting in and out of car4. When returning to driving take additional safety techniques-

  • Avoid school zones
  • Mobile phone and radio should be turned off
  • Dont tailgate!

Possible Benefits Of Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Recovery Questions and Answers

Regardless of whether a traditional total knee replacement or a minimally-invasive partial knee replacement is performed the goals and possible benefits are the same: relief of pain and restoration of function.

The large majority of total knee replacement patients experience substantial or complete relief of pain once they have recovered from the procedure. The large majority walk without a limp and most dont require a cane, even if they used one before the surgery. It is quite likely that you know someone with a knee replacement who walks so well that you dont know he even had surgery!

Frequently the stiffness from arthritis is also relieved by the surgery. Very often the distance one can walk will improve as well because of diminished pain and stiffness. The enjoyment of reasonable recreational activities such as golf, dancing, traveling, and swimming almost always improves following total knee replacement.

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How Long Will I Be On Pain Medication

Total joint replacement is a big surgery. It is not unusual to require some form of pain medication for approximately 6-8 weeks. Initially, the medication will be a strong oral narcotic such as oxycodone or hydrocodone. Most people begin to wean off their strong pain medication 3-4 weeks after surgery, requiring it mostly around times of therapy. Moderate strength medication, like Celebrex, Meloxicam or Ibuprofen and/or Tylenol may be needed for an additional 3-4 weeks.

Getting Into A Car After A Knee Replacement

Before you try and get into the car after a knee replacement its best to prepare.

  • Park the car in an open space or next to the curb to have plenty of room to maneuver.
  • Scoot the front seat as far back as it can go.
  • It can even be beneficial to recline the seat during the first week after surgery to help give a little more room.
  • Get as close as you can to the car using your walker or the crutches
  • Turn around so that your back is facing the front seat and back up until you feel the seat touching the backside of the legs
  • Be sure to use the seat and handle overhead DONT use the car door for support as it is unstable and will move

Slide back until your thighs are fully supported on the seat.

Once you are seated on the seat.

  • Assist your legs into the car one at a time
  • Use your hands to assist your legs as needed to get in and out comfortably

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Knee Replacement Recovery Time: First 3 Months

For 6-8 weeks after knee replacement surgery you should avoid:

  • Any pivoting on your knee
  • Kneeling
  • Squatting

You will need to continue with your knee replacement rehab programme for at least 3 months after knee replacement surgery, probably six months to get the best result from your operation.

You will be able to progress your exercises as your knee gets stronger and more flexible. Visit the rehab section to find out more. The more you stick to your exercise programme, the quicker your knee replacement recovery is likely be.

Under What Conditions Should I Seek Medical Advice Post

How Soon Can You Drive after Knee Replacement?

Any condition which is new or out of the ordinary for your total knee is worth at least a phone call, an office visit, or possibly a trip to the Emergency Room. Prolonged fever greater than 102 degrees, increasing or worsening pain in your knee, increasing or worsening redness in your knee, increasing or smelly drainage from your incision, worsening calf pain and swelling, chest pain and shortness of breath are all conditions which warrant immediate medical advice.

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Do I Need A Continuous Passive Motion Machine

In general, no. However, depending on the circumstances of your surgery, you may benefit from a CPM. If so, most patients will be started on the CPM on the first post-operative day.

The amount of bend will gradually increase while you are in the hospital. Typically, patients will use the machine for 1-2 hours at a time, 2-3 times a day. Except under rare circumstances, you will not need a CPM when you go home.

Driving After Knee Surgery:

There are no well established guidelines that I am aware for determining when it is safe to drive after injury or treatment. For lower limb surgery what we are really interested in is the effectiveness of and time taken to perform an emergency stop.

It is fairly obvious that patients should not drive with a cast or brace on the right leg or if they are still experiencing pain when weight bearing on the limb.

If they are driving an automatic car then surgery to the left lower limb is usually not an issue. If all goes well then most patients will be able to brake effectively 4 weeks after a knee arthroscopy and 4-6 weeks after a total knee replacement but this is very patient specific and can vary greatly.

It may be as much as 9 weeks for an ankle fracture and a minimum of 6 weeks from when they start to weight bear for a lower limb fracture. In general the definition of what constitutes an impaired driver is decided on a case by case basis and the ultimate responsibility for the decision to drive rests with the patient.

There is some concern that by clearing the patient to drive Doctors are exposing themselves to liability for injuries incurred by or caused by the patient. Some patients will tell you that they can use their left foot to brake but this has been shown to have a slower reaction time than standard one footed braking and cannot be recommended as a safe option.

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Tips To Stay Comfortable While Driving

As I mentioned in this article my surgery was on my right knee.

  • For me, it was easier to get in and out of the car on the right side passenger seat or the right side back seat.
  • Avoid low-profile cars like sportscars as these vehicles will be tough to get in and out of.
  • Put your weight on your hands/arms when getting in and out of the car.
  • Initially, my walker or a walking stick was helpful, especially when getting out of the car .
  • Push the seat back as far as it goes to make yourself comfortable and to allow you to straighten and flex your knee.
  • On longer trips, recline your seat to stretch out even further.
  • Take frequent stops to relax and stretch out
  • How Long Will It Be Before I Feel Normal

    9 Surprising Facts About Knee Replacement Surgery

    You should be able to stop using your crutches or walking frame and resume normal leisure activities 6 weeks after surgery. However, it may take up to 3 months for pain and swelling to settle down. It can take up to a year for any leg swelling to disappear.

    Your new knee will continue to recover for up to 2 years after your operation. During this time, scar tissue will heal and muscles can be restored by exercise.

    Even after you have recovered, it’s best to avoid extreme movements or sports where there’s a risk of falling, such as skiing or mountain biking. Your doctor or a physiotherapist can advise you.

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    Questions You Should Ask Your Knee Replacement Doctor

    The following guide is provided to patients of Dr. Gregory Raab, an orthopedic surgeon in Nashville, TN that specializes in total joint replacement and revisions in the knee and hip. If you are suffering from knee pain, schedule an appointment with a knee replacement doctor near you to find out if you are a candidate for total knee replacement surgery.

    What Does Knee Replacement Surgery Involve

    The team at Tri-State Orthopaedics provide the latest advancements in treating chronic knee problems. When conservative options arent enough, your provider may recommend knee replacement surgery. Also called arthroplasty, this procedure involves replacing the structure of the damaged knee joint with metal and plastic parts to restore the normal function of the knee and relieve chronic pain.

    Knee replacement is an incredibly common and successful procedure. Over 90% of people who have knee replacement experience significant improvement in pain and their ability to get around. For most people, knee replacement restores a good quality of life, giving back independence and allowing you to engage in activities you used to enjoy. However, recovery is often a long road. If youre scheduled for or considering knee surgery, here are some helpful dos and donts in your path to recovery.

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    How Long Until I Can Drive After Surgery


    The Arthroplasty society acknowledges that driving is an important part of peoples lives andday-to-day activities. A patient should not return to driving after a hip or knee replacement untilthey can safely perform an emergency stop and they no longer require regular narcotic analgesia.The ability to perform an emergency stop varies between patients, but in most cases occurs between4 and 6 weeks following a right leg hip or knee replacement.

    Licensing authorities do not specify specific driving restrictions after hip or knee replacementand require patients to seek advice directly from their treating surgeon as to when it is safe forthem to drive.

    If you have concerns regarding your ability to drive, clarification should be obtained from yourtreating surgeon.

    What And Why Of Swelling

    How Soon Can You Drive after Knee Replacement Surgery?

    Swelling is a physiological response within the body due to mechanical stress put on the body.

    Thus, whenever you twist your ankle or have some acute injury, your affected body part swells. Along with there is pain, increased redness, temperature as well as pain.

    So, when a Maryhad knee replacement surgery, their operated knee joint complex goes through a lot of mechanical stress, and thus, it swells.

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    How Long After Tkr Can You Drive

    Name of the Surgery Duration of rest after a TKR, before driving Factors that decide the time for you to start driving again Risks of driving immediately after a TKR
    TKR surgery At least six to eight weeks. Some individuals report that they started driving after four weeks, but that sometimes might not be safe. The factors that decide the time at which you can start driving again include your physical fitness before and after surgery, Vehicles transmission, joint replacement type, and much more. Driving immediately after having a TKR surgery includes various physical complications that include pain and swelling. Even rejection of the implant, bone fracturing and infection can happen.

    Many people normally confuse between TKR and TKA ?

    The total recovery of the surgery can take up to six to twelve months, but your ways of pursuing your daily activities certainly vary. You will need to be extra careful after the replacement. There are many activities, which the orthopedics will advice you not to pursue for a while.

    Many people who have undergone TKR have asked the same question, about when they will be able to drive after the surgery exactly.

    The answer to this question is, you will have to wait at least six to eight weeks before driving your car.

    How Long Do You Have Pain After Total Knee Replacement Surgery

    Youve just had a total knee replacement. While you know that this will definitely add years to your mobility, the pain from the surgery is the only thing you can focus on overcoming right now. While you may have been experiencing chronic pain before knee surgery, it may come as some relief that post-surgery pain should go away in a short time with proper recovery.

    Immediately after surgery, you can expect to be in the care of hospital staff for anywhere from 2-5 days. They will keep you on regular pain medication and be able to keep you up to speed in your recovery process. Its when you head home that it is now up to you to make sure you are doing your stretches, monitoring and dosing your pain and subsequent pain medication accordingly, and following your doctors orders.

    While the rest-ice-elevate rule applies to most injuries and surgeries, it is particularly important after a total knee replacement because your pain can be so significant, you will want to do everything you can to stay on track in your healing process.

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    Getting Into And Riding In A Car

    When getting into a car:

    • Get into the car from street level, not from a curb or doorstep. Have the front seat moved back as far as possible.
    • Car seats shouldn’t be too low. Sit on a pillow if you need to. Before you get into a car, make sure you can slide easily on the seat material.
    • Turn around so the back of your knee is touching the seat and sit down. As you turn, have someone help lift your legs into the car.

    When riding in a car:

    • Break up long car rides. Stop, get out, and walk around every 45 to 60 minutes.
    • Do some of the simple exercises, like ankle pumps, while riding in the car. This helps reduce the risks of blood clots.
    • Take pain medicines before your first ride home.

    When getting out of the car:

    • Turn your body as someone helps you lift your legs out of the car.
    • Scoot and lean forward.
    • Standing on both legs, use your crutches or walker to help you stand up.

    Ask your health care provider when you can drive. You may need to wait up to 4 weeks after surgery. DO NOT drive until your provider says it is OK.

    Worries I Had About Flying After Knee Replacement

    Knee replacement with less trauma at Parkwest

    After surgery, I was uncomfortable sitting in a chair for long periods of time. After sitting for 10 minutes or so I felt the need to elevate my leg .

    Early on I had concerns about being able to sit for the majority of a 2 hour and 45-minute plane flight. By week 8, I was able to sit in a chair for much longer periods of time.

    Knowing that Id be able to get up and walk made me feel confident that I could sit comfortably on the plane. I was flying on an airline that didnt offer premium economy and I was worried about stretching my leg out.

    The same airline didnt allow me to pick a seat and I had to wait until 24 hours before my flight to get a boarding number. I was also concerned about waiting time in the airport, especially if our flight was delayed.

    As it turned out the flight was delayed but frequent walks in the airport kept me out of the sitting position.

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