Oct 31 2009

Doctor, when can I drive?

Published by doctorj at 12:21 am under Uncategorized

After I tore my left AT two years ago, as soon as I was able to hobble around in the walking boot with crutches, I was able to drive my car. Even though I was still uncomfortable, I had a sense of freedom and mobility.  This year, after rupturing the right, I was forbidden to drive by my orthopedist for six to ten weeks post surgery. Of course, my doctor’s argument made sense. Even though that right leg recovered fair range of motion soon enough, and with the boot off I was able to gently push on the accelerator, in the early weeks post-op it was not strong enough to stop the car reliably and safely. I could learn to brake with the left foot, but he said that in an emergency people go back to their old habits and use that weak right foot again. My orthopedist added that if I were to get into an accident that somehow involved the legal system, if anyone noticed that orthopedic boot in the car, that I would absolutely, no questions asked, lose the case.

So I depended on my wife and limited public transportation to get around. Being unable to drive meant I could not work either, so I was cooped up at home. On the 42nd post-op day, i.e. exactly six weeks post surgery, without official approval from my orthopedist, I took the boot off and went for a cautious drive. What a joy. Two days afterward, I returned to work.

2 Responses to “Doctor, when can I drive?”

  1. grahamon 31 Oct 2009 at 4:18 am

    I was asking myself the same question last week. 6 weeks in and I am still unable to drive and living on my own this makes it interesting getting around. In fact, I don’t! These 4 walls are driving me mad ;0
    I am hoping I can start next week…

  2. smoleyon 31 Oct 2009 at 6:05 am

    Driving is an interesting point. I have no idea when I’ll be able to drive. We have a manual car so obviously not while in cast (left leg) but it’s a 4×4 and the clutch is very heavy so it may take some time even once cast is off.
    I’m a bit paranoid about the whole insurance issue so I wouldn’t even try it without official doctor clearance.
    On the bright side, I’m getting my revenge on my husband for all the months when I was pregnant or nursing and couldn’t drink so I did all the driving while he tucked into the wine. Now it’s my turn!

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