“How soon can I start driving?” is a common question after having a knee replaced. Most patients can get back behind the wheel between 2-6 weeks after surgery. However, there are a few guidelines we’ll discuss before it’s time to start driving again.
First, if we have you on a narcotic medication, you should not be driving. Such medication can be a necessary part of your recovery, but they negatively affect your mental awareness and reactional responses.
The answer to this question also depends on which knee you have had replaced and what kind of car you will be driving. For a left knee replacement, it might be possible to drive an automatic transmission vehicle in two weeks. However, with a manual transmission (stick-shift), it will be a few weeks longer. We will closely chart the recovery of your pre-surgical reflexes and muscle strength, both of which are crucial aspects of driving.
If you have had your right knee replaced, you will need a chauffeur for a little longer. You’ll need to wait at least 4 weeks after surgery before driving. Once again, we will closely follow your recovery as you work to regain your natural reflexes.
If we give you the “green light” to start driving again and you experience knee pain as you control the pedals, contact my office and we will adjust your recovery plan as needed.
It is our goal to see you return to an independent, active lifestyle, unhindered by knee pain. The recommended recovery time from your knee replacement is to ensure that your new joint helps you meet that goal.
Dr. Robert Cagle is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in joint replacement surgery of the Knee and Hip using the latest technology and techniques for better patient outcomes. Get back to your active lifestyle with outpatient hip replacement.