Undergoing any surgery, especially hip replacement surgery, is physically and emotionally taxing on any individual. As one of the most important aspects of this type of surgery, however, it’s important that you avoid doing certain things like driving while in recovery. Although it may be hard to rely on others for rides to and from work, home, or the grocery store, abstaining from driving is important for several reasons.
You May Be On Narcotics
One of the biggest considerations to make before getting behind the wheel while you’re in recovery is narcotic use. Although narcotics can be safe to use for a brief amount of time to ease your pain and discomfort, they will impair your judgment and make you a liability while on the road.
You May Not Have Strength
Physical therapy is the best way to gain your strength back after having a hip replacement, but it takes some time to get results. Right after surgery and for the first several weeks afterward, you may not have the strength needed to do things like push on the brake and gas pedals— which makes it impossible to drive. After a combination of physical therapy and at-home exercises, you should start to gain back your strength and hopefully be able to drive before you know it.
You May Not Have Your Reflexes Back
One of the best things they teach when you’re 16 and in Driver’s Ed. is defensive driving, aka acting on your reflexes. However, after you have hip replacement surgery, your reflexes won’t be quite as reactive as they once were which makes you a danger on the road. During physical therapy, you will work on strengthening your new hip joint so that your reflexes are razor sharp again. As soon as you get your reflexes back, you may get the approval to start driving again.
Before you get back behind the wheel, it’s important that you are off narcotics, and that you have your strength and reflexes back.
Schedule your appointment with Dr. John Moore today to learn more about hip replacement surgery.