When is it safe to drive after orthopaedic surgery?

Los Angeles – Driving while wearing an arm or leg cast may be dangerous, warns a new study from the University of Southern California.

Researchers recommended waiting four weeks after knee arthroscopy, four to six weeks after hip surgery or total knee replacement, and nine weeks after ankle surgery before returning behind the wheel.

However, a person whose right leg is in a cast or brace should not drive until it is removed, the study states. Caution also should be observed when driving while wearing an arm cast, brace or splint. While cautioning against trying to drive with one elbow restrained, researchers said that it may be safe to drive with a forearm cast.

The study was published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.