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How Soon Can I Drive After Knee Replacement

Knee Replacement Surgery Aftercare In Missouri

Driving After a Knee Replacement: When is it Safe?

The experts at Advanced Bone & Joint have been taking care of musculoskeletal needs of patients since the 1980s. Our services include pain management, joint replacement procedures, sports medicine, general orthopedics, and much more. If you do need surgery, we will support you until you have completely recovered.

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Driving After A Total Knee Replacement

Hi everyone. After receiving some requests regarding driving after a total knee replacement , I thought a post here would be appropriate

The standard literature us patients are given upon preparing for a tkr recommends not driving until at least 6 weeks after surgery. I had no choice but to do it sooner, however.

The reason being is that I needed to go to physical therapy and didnt want to impose upon anyone for a lift. Besides, I like to drive and wanted to experiment as long as I didnt harm myself.

Well, I can definitely see how six weeks is an appropriate time frame if the leg you use for the accelerator is the one that had a total knee replacement.

For instance, if your bionic knee is on your right leg, youre going to have difficulty driving. There just wont be enough flexibility to operate the accelerator, in my opinion.

However, my bionic knee is on my left leg. I could operate the accelerator with no problem. There were other problems as mentioned below.

If my car was clutch-operated, there was no way I could have driven it within six weeks. Maybe after about 4-6 weeks, but even then there would have been extreme discomfort. Hey, driving a clutch might be another good recuperation exercise.

My car has an automatic transmission. I had a problem, with the following while driving after a total knee replacement. You may be the same:

  • Time involved. It definitely is not a quick process. The entire process is much slower than typical.

Things No One Ever Tells You About Getting A Knee Replacement

Heres what you need to know thats not in the brochure: 1. You might not be a good candidate.A study published last year by researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond questioned the value of knee replacement for some of the people rushing to get it. After analyzing data from a large study of men and women who had the operation, the researchers found that fully one-third of them were not actually good candidates for the surgery, which is why they got only a very modest benefita 2-point improvement on a common measure of knee function, compared with a 20-point improvement for people who started out with really bad knees.

“Pain that doesnt go away and moderate to severe arthritis are necessary for a knee replacement to do its job,” Lajam says. “If you have the surgery, but its actually a problem of nerve pain, hip pain, or circulation, its not going to help you.” The advice here is not to wait until your knees are completely destroyed before seeking surgery, but to make sure that youve tried other measures first and that you meet both criteriaconsistent pain and advanced arthritis.

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Taking A Road Trip In A Car After Knee Replacement

My first big trip took place 9 weeks after TKR. Every 45 minutes or so I would stop and get out of the car to walk.

I shared driving with my wife and let her drive the portion of the trip that took us through Los Angeles. We always try and drive through Los Angeles on Sunday morning but the traffic in LA can be bad at any time due to an accident and I did not want to be driving in stop and go traffic braking constantly with my right leg.

How Long Is Rehab After Knee Replacement

Knee Replacement Funny Get Well Card Knee Surgery by ...

Padgett said that standard recovery time for knee replacement surgery can run anywhere from two to four months. Typically, patients assigned for in-patient rehab care stay about two weeks, receiving physical therapy roughly six days per week, sometimes followed by in-home or outpatient care after they return home.

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When Can You Drive After Surgery

You should not drive on the day of your outpatient surgical procedure. Most hospitals will require that a family member or friend is present at discharge to drive you home. Studies have shown that a person usually has some form of motor deficit following general anaesthesia for 24 hours following a procedure driving should therefore not be undertaken until at least this time. Furthermore, some strong pain relieving medications can remain in the body for extended time periods and most people should not return to driving until at least 24 hours after this pain relieving medication has stopped.

Most patients do not drive until after their first post-operative visit , although some patients may return to driving before this point. When considering a return to driving, it is important to consider the following points:

  • Coordination and reflexes may be slightly impaired for several weeks after surgery.
  • You must recover adequate muscle control for braking and accelerating before you try to drive.

Listed below are typical times after surgery when patients resume driving. Please note that this is a rough guide only, as each patient is different.

  • Simple knee arthroscopy – 1 week
  • ACL reconstruction – 4-6 weeks
  • Shoulder labral repair – 6-7 weeks
  • Rotator cuff repair – 6-7 weeks
  • Hip arthroscopy – 2-3 weeks
  • Periacetabular osteotomy – 8-12 weeks

Bathing After Knee Replacement

As you prepare for TKR surgery you might be wondering when can I take a bath. Bathing after knee replacement is important but youll need to be mindful of what you can and cant do. My doctor and my medical team at the hospital told me I was not to shower or submerge my knee in a bathtub for the first 12 days post surgery.

I was also told to avoid swimming pools and hot tubs during this time. Ill explain how I bathed the first 12 days and Ill explain how I took my first few showers after my staples were removed.

Ill share some ideas that will make your bathing experience easier and more pleasant. As I mentioned in prior articles, I often woke up very sweaty at night. The next morning it was nice to clean up even though I could not get in the shower.

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Showering After Knee Replacement Surgery

One very popular myth about showering after knee replacement surgery is the belief that you need to avoid taking a bath for the short-term after replacement surgery. For decades, patients who underwent knee replacement surgery were under the impression that they could not submerge the healing area for at least 14 days or at least until after the skin staples were removed to avoid accidental loss of sutures.

For most patients, this rule was unpleasant. The majority of patients want to go home, bathe and get rid of all the tape marks, and feel clean. Well, now a study shows that this time-honored advice is unnecessary in most patients.

Research at Loyola School

Researchers at Loyola School of medicine recently conducted a study about showering after knee replacement surgery. This study was done by comparing the bacterial skin counts of patients who shower 48 hours after knee arthroplasty to patients who waited between 10-14 days.

Once researchers swabbed the skin near the incision of the patients who had just bathed. They analyzed microscopic skin cells to see if there was a difference in the bacterial count in the patients who had showered 48-hours after surgery versus the patients who delayed bathing for 10-14 days. Upon reviewing the data, they found there was no patient in either group developed any signs of infection and, therefore, that there was no reason to wait two-weeks before showering after knee replacement surgery.

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Why Would I Need Surgery

How Soon Can You Drive after Knee Replacement?

Osteoarthritis is the main reason why people go for knee replacement surgery. The age-related condition is very common and occurs when cartilage — the cushion between the knee and the bone joints — breaks down.

Other reasons include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis is when the bodyâs immune system attacks and destroys the lining of the knee.
  • Deformities: People with bowed legs or âknock-kneesâ often get surgery to restore the position of the knee.
  • Knee injuries: A broken bone or torn ligaments around the knee sometimes will result in arthritis that causes great pain and limits your movement.

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Why Is My Knee Throbbing After Surgery

Excessive pain in the knee following arthroscopic surgery is usually due to overactivity or spending too much time on your feet before the thigh muscles have been adequately strengthened. Excessive swelling can also cause pain in the knee. It is normal for the knee to be sore and swollen following arthroscopy.

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When Can I Resume To My Normal Leisure Activities

During the first six weeks after your surgery, we recommend limiting your activities to walking with support, gentle swimming in the shallow end once you have been given permission to get the wound wet. We recommend you refrain from exercises such as pilates, golf and social tennis until three months after the date of your surgery. If you are enthusiastic about a particular sport, please seek instructions from A/Prof Walter.

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Riding In A Car Home From The Hospital

One of my first big challenges after TKR was getting into a car for the ride home from the hospital. I was wheeled out of the hospital in a wheelchair.

My son was waiting with his compact car . A larger car like our SUV would have made things much easier.

Our first idea was for to me to sit in the back with my leg outstretched on the seat. Getting from the wheelchair, standing up and then getting in the car was harder than I had thought.

I tried several times to get in the back seat from both doors but I could not get in easily because I could not bend my knee. After several attempts, I gave up.

I was able to get in the front seat passenger seat without much trouble but I was afraid that it would be painful because I could not elevate the knee. The twenty-minute ride home was actually pretty comfortable probably due to the pain medication I had recently taken.

Once I arrived home it took a few minutes to get out of the car and up with my walker. My son parked in the garage so that I had a short walk into the house with no stairs .

How Long Before You Can Drive After A Full Knee Replacement

How Soon Can You Drive After Arthroscopic Knee Surgery ...

When can I drive? If you had surgery on your right knee, you should not drive for at least 4 weeks. After 4 weeks you may return to driving as soon as you feel comfortable. If you had surgery on your left knee, you may return to driving as soon as you feel comfortable if you have an automatic transmission.

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Adjusting To Your New Knee

After the procedure, youre likely to face various challenges. For most people, recovery can take 612 months, and possibly longer in some cases.

Knowing what to expect can help you make it through your day more effectively and get the most out of your new knee.

Keep reading to find out what adjustments you may need to make.

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
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    How Soon Can I Fly After 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.

    After Hip Or Knee Replacement When Can I Shower Drive Return To Work And Have Sex


    My team and I take tremendous pride in providing not only the best surgical outcome for our patients but also providing the best experience. We emphasize preoperative education and planning. Repeatedly, we see that when patients go into surgery with more knowledge, more confidence, and a clear plan of what will happen to them after surgery, they get well faster, have a better experience and return to their full life sooner. This is our goal.

    I decided to write this short blog on four common questions, topics Im routinely asked about after someone has a hip or knee surgery. When is it ok to shower and get the incision wet, when its safe to drive, when should they plan on returning to work and the what factors drive that timing, and finally when its safe to resume sexual activities?

    When can I shower after knee or hip replacement surgery?

    Patients who have had a hip and knee replacement usually go home the afternoon of their surgery or the next day. Im a firm believer in soap and water and encourage them to shower soon after getting home. I think a shower makes everybody feel better.

    How soon can I have sex after my hip or knee replacement?

    How soon after hip or knee replacement surgery can I drive?

    How quickly can I get back towork following a hip or knee replacement?

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    To 6 Weeks After Surgery

    Once ambulatory aids have been discontinued, people can begin walking and gradually progressing the duration of their exercise. Bending the knee should continue to progress beyond 90 degree during weeks three and four.

    People should begin low-impact, aerobic exercise activities including stationary bicycling and increasing the duration of walks. Typically by six weeks post surgery, people have resumed most of their normal activities and are doing light exercises.

    When And How I Showered After Knee Replacement

    On the 12th day post-surgery, my home physical therapist removed my staples and said that I could take a shower the next day. She advised me not to let the shower water directly hit my incision.

    On her initial visit, she checked my bathrooms and shower to make sure I could maneuver in and out of each. She mentioned getting a non-slip pad so I wouldnt slip while getting into the shower or standing up.Many showers have non-slip grips so you might be prepared already. If you dont have one, its wise to take extra precautions on wet surfaces.

    If you fall it could damage the wound and create more problems for you . If youre living on your own I recommend being extra careful when it comes to safety .

    She liked that I had a built in tile bench in my shower and a showerhead that I can remove and use by hand. These were two big advantages for me.

    My shower does not have built in handrails. Handrails would have helped a lot!

    A handle can help you get in and out of the shower. It will also help with standing up. I didnt want to damage my tile in the shower so I didnt install a permanent handle, but I found another option that uses suction on the tile . They can easily be attached and released and wont damage the tile. Plus it looks nice.

    I like the Vaunn Tool-Free Shower Chair because the height is adjustable and you dont need tools to assemble it . Its listed as a chair for seniors, people with balance issues, or people recovering from surgery.

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    Riding In A Car To And From The Therapist

    The next time that I got in a car was for my first visit with the offsite physical therapist at the beginning of the third-week post surgery. From this point on I rode in the larger SUV, which made it easier to get in and out of the front seat.

    In the beginning, I always had to use my arms to support my leg while I bent it to get in and out of the car. I was able to straighten my leg out once I got in the car and I often did ankle pumps and some flexion on the ten-minute ride to the therapist.

    I did not have my first follow up doctors visit until one month after the surgery so my trips in the car were limited to going to and from the physical therapist 3 times a week.


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