Most patients’ brake reaction time had returned to baseline level or better within 2 weeks of undergoing total hip arthroplasty, allowing the patients to be able to drive safely again, according to study results.
Researchers retrospectively evaluated brake reaction time in 38 patients (mean age: 62 years) who underwent total hip arthroplasty (THA). All patients had the brake reaction time assessed preoperatively to establish a baseline and again at 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks postoperatively, or until brake reaction time was the same as or better than the preoperative score. The researchers obtained patient history to rule out the use of pre- and postoperative narcotics during testing. Patients were able to drive again when their brake reaction time was the same as or better than the preoperative baseline.
The mean brake reaction times preoperatively and at the 2-week follow-up were 0.635 seconds and 0.576 seconds, respectively. Results indicated 33 out of the 38 patients reached their baseline at the 2-week follow-up. The remaining five patients reached their baseline at the 4-week follow-up.
According to the researchers, the average preoperative time for the five unsuccessful patients was faster compared with the 33 successful patients, meaning the five patients who did not match their preoperative time at 2 weeks had a faster time to achieve in order to be successful.
I allow most patients to resume driving within 2 weeks after surgery.