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When have most started to drive after R TKR?

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by mature mama, Mar 23, 2019.

  1. mature mama

    mature mama member
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    I am curious on approximately how long it was before most people were driving again? I will take all my offers from friends and uber if needed. I have a 15 and almost 13 year old girls. Although they know I am having surgery and they have to step it up, losing one of their taxis is going to hit home quickly. I will be the priority after surgery but am curious nevertheless ..
     
  2. Roy Gardiner

    Roy Gardiner FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Well it's your accelerator and brake foot so I'd say it should be as long as it takes, and then a bit more. You'd hate to have a crash because you couldn't come to a stop as fast as possible.

    I am a city dweller so I guess don't know your problems - if it were me with kids that old I'd be saying 'Public transport'.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
  3. mature mama

    mature mama member
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    Unfortunately we don't live in the city. No public transportation options.
     
  4. Pumpkln

    Pumpkln FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    mature mama,
    You will need to wait until you are off all pain medications, your reaction times need to be fast enough so you can slam on the brakes to avoid an accident.
    Some states allow young teens in rural areas to drive with limitations, if so your 15 yo could help out.
     
  5. Jaycey

    Jaycey SUPER MODERATOR Moderator

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    @mature mama When you are released to drive by your surgeon. This usually happens at your post op follow-up appoint. The timeframe for this can be anywhere from 6-12 weeks. Driving before could not only strain that new knee but void your insurance. If you drove before being released and had an accident, this could void your insurance cover.
     
  6. rose1940

    rose1940 junior member

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    My doc just released me to drive. I am at 6 weeks & it is my right knee. I am still on a little pain med but he said as long as it has been 4 hrs since pain med it is ok. Every doc & every recovery is different. He fells I am doing exceptionally well. I am not driving on the freeway yet- just around town to therapy church grocery etc.
     
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  7. mature mama

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    Just trying to get an idea. I am in NJ and my 15 year old will take drivers ed next year in school, so no help there.
    Hubby and friends will have to do. And Uber in a pinch.
     
  8. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I drive a manual (stick shift) car. I started driving again some time between 4 and 6 weeks post-op.
    You need to be off strong medications and your brain needs to be clear. You need to be absolutely certain you can do an emergency stop.

    Before I started driving again, I would get in the car with the engine turned off, and practice changing gears and moving my feet from pedal to pedal. I also practiced doing emergency stops, pushing down as hard as I could on the brake with my right foot, while depressing the clutch pedal with my left foot.

    Only when I could do all the above with 100% accuracy did I turn on the engine and try going up my driveway.

    One other thing to consider is getting into and out of the car. Until you can bend your knee far enough, that can be a problem. You also need to park where you can open the driver's door fully, to allow room for your new knee.
     
  9. birdwatchr

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    I was driving after 2 weeks, but I was taught to use my left foot for brake, and I can use either foot for brake after driving stick shift for some years. Depends on how well you concentrate, I guess. Is NJ still the only state that requires teens to be 17 to get their driver’s license? (I’m from NJ!) I also practiced driving with someone in car before I went out on my own, and I only drove 4 miles each way to doctor and PT, so it was very limited driving. You’d have to judge for yourself if you would be ready to drive short distances, and definitely try it in a parking lot somewhere first.
     
  10. PolarBear60

    PolarBear60 FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    It depends on three things -- being off all opiod pain medications, your doctor's approval, and when you feel you can safely operate a vehicle.

    My doctor cleared me at three weeks for my right knee. I live in a small town. But I sat in the vehicle and practiced moving from the accelerator to the brake with the vehicle turned off first. When I felt comfortable with that, I drove my truck across the street to the empty high school parking lot and drove around the parking lot, practicing using my leg in imagined driving situations -- normal stops, then a couple panic stops. I felt mostly okay, but I chose to drive in my small town for about the first week and let my husband drive longer distances.

    If your doctor says you can drive but YOU don't feel you're safe to drive yet, then be responsible and don't do it.
     
  11. Smokey253

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    I had my left knee replaced so it wasn’t a problem for acceleration and braking. It was 4 weeks when I started. I was off the heavy duty pain meds. I was nervous so I took a test run (I live in a rural area) to make sure I was ready. Then it was for short runs now at 7 weeks I’m back to normal
     
  12. kneeper

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    4 weeks for me too on the left knee. My pain meds were spaced out enough that my doc said as long as it had been 6 hours since my last dose I would be ok to drive. Still it was only for very short trips and I had to time it carefully.
    For righty it was 6 weeks. As others have said you have to be able to slam on the brakes quickly.
     
  13. Roy Gardiner

    Roy Gardiner FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I saw this on another thread that I didn't want to hijack, so quoted here to reply to it.

    Why have them so far apart? You are putting yourself in the place of marking time, not marching forward.
     
  14. JDinCT

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    I drove at 2.5 weeks... did a practice run with a friend before setting out on my own just in case ...
     
  15. mature mama

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    I need to wait because I work full time and have 12 and 15 year old daughters.
     
  16. Hubbysneez

    Hubbysneez new member

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    my husb is 6 weeks post op and just got the ok to drive but he had both knees done. only takes pain meds mostly at night to sleep
     
  17. lovetocookandsew

    lovetocookandsew supremo

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    I waited until my OS cleared me to do so. I wasn't on any narcotic pain relief from day one, so that didn't factor in at all; only the stage of healing mattered. I figured since he was the one who performed the repair, it was up to him to decide when my knee was ready for driving. If it had been my non-driving leg repaired, he would have cleared me to drive sooner, but since it was my driving leg, it took longer.
     
  18. dmichael21

    dmichael21 junior member

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    In my case I was 5 weeks and at 1st it’s hard to concentrate because of all you have been through and I was driving a 18 wheeler automatic trans after 7 weeks so hopefully that helps.
     
  19. 2tkr

    2tkr junior member

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    1 month. With right knee. Driving isn’t the hard part. Getting in and out of the car is!
     
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  20. mature mama

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    Agreed @2tkr

    My new right knee is strong but not bending. Started driving a small local amount at 3 1/2 weeks to get to PT and getting in the car is the challenge.
     

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