Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Using interactive driving simulator, study determines when it's safe to drive after hip replacement

Date:
March 11, 2014
Source:
Hospital for Special Surgery
Summary:
After hip replacement surgery, many patients are anxious to resume driving. A new study using a sophisticated interactive driving simulator finds that patients can safely get back behind the wheel after four weeks, challenging the conventional wisdom that they should wait six weeks.

After hip replacement surgery, many patients are anxious to resume driving, and a new study challenges the conventional wisdom that patients should wait six weeks before getting back behind the wheel. Dr. Geoffrey Westrich, director of research, Adult Reconstruction and Joint Replacement at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, found that patients in the study were able to return to driving four weeks after total hip replacement.

Related Articles


The study, titled, “A Novel Assessment of Driving Reaction Time Following THR Using a New Fully Interactive Driving Simulator,” will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in New Orleans on March 11, 2014.

“One of the most common questions patients ask after hip replacement is when they can start driving again, and this is the first study of its kind to test their reaction time after the procedure,” said Dr. Westrich, who came up with the idea for the driving simulator while watching his children play video games.

But the interactive simulator used in his study is more intricate than a Wii game. “It’s a very sophisticated machine made by a company that makes driving simulators for the automobile industry,” Dr. Westrich said.

More than 330,000 hip replacements are performed in the United States each year. People exhibit decreased reaction time after the surgery, making it unsafe to drive in the immediate post-operative period. Most doctors recommend patients wait about six weeks before they resume driving, but many don’t want to wait that long.

“Over the past five or 10 years, we’ve seen advances such as minimally invasive hip replacement and newer implants that are advantageous to patients and may improve recovery time. Our study set out to obtain good, objective data to determine if it would be safe for people to return to driving sooner,” Dr. Westrich said.

One-hundred patients from three orthopedic surgeons at Hospital for Special Surgery were enrolled in the study to assess their driving reaction times using a fully-interactive driving simulator with an automatic brake reaction timer from the American Automobile Association.

All of the participants had a total hip replacement on the right side, and they all took the driving test prior to having surgery. They were then randomly selected to repeat the test TWO, THREE or FOUR weeks after hip replacement. Reaction time was measured by the computerized driving simulator.

The reaction timer, equipped with an accelerator and brake pedal, simulates driving. Patients were instructed to place their foot on the accelerator, which activated a green light, and to keep their foot on the accelerator until a Stop sign appeared. When the Stop sign popped up, they were supposed to move their foot to the brake pedal. The amount of time it took for the subject to switch from the gas to the brake pedal was measured by the machine.

The study defined a return to safe driving reaction time as a return to a reaction time that was either the same as or better than the preoperative driving reaction time. Observing reaction times at different intervals revealed that two and three weeks after surgery patients had not yet made a full recovery to their respective baseline reaction time and generally were not ready to drive.

However, at four weeks following hip replacement, patients had actually improved their reaction time compared to what it was before the surgery and therefore could be cleared to drive. It was also observed that patients under the age of 70 reached an improved reaction time earlier than those over 70.

“By using a standardized, driving simulator to measure reaction times, our study will be reproducible and we can apply our model to other surgical procedures that may affect one’s ability to drive safely postoperatively,” Dr. Westrich noted. He will soon begin enrolling patients in another study to determine when it is safe to drive after total knee replacement.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Hospital for Special Surgery. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Hospital for Special Surgery. "Using interactive driving simulator, study determines when it's safe to drive after hip replacement." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140311100314.htm>.
Hospital for Special Surgery. (2014, March 11). Using interactive driving simulator, study determines when it's safe to drive after hip replacement. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140311100314.htm
Hospital for Special Surgery. "Using interactive driving simulator, study determines when it's safe to drive after hip replacement." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140311100314.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins