Is driving 2 days post op, going too fast ?

September 10th, 2010

I had to get back into my car pretty quickly; my husband works away a lot in the UK & next week he’ll be gone again, so only me here to take our son to school. On Thursday, 2 days post op, I had a little test drive of the VW Polo on the drive. It’s a manual (stick shift to our American cousins!) & I successfully managed a couple of 3 point turns without pain.  

I didn’t actually need to drive anywhere until Thurs ( 8 days post op) when I picked up Oscar from school. This I acheived (hooray!) without incident: no pain, no problems whatsoever. I’m wearing my 1st cast with my foot pointing down slightly. On Wed next week I have to get back to the hospital in Cherbourg, so I needed to know I could get there under my own steam as I didn’t know who to ask otherwise.

I’ve ordered a waterproof cast cover  £17.00 from a seller called precisiondippings on After my initial depression at being so disabled & helpless, I decided to stop being so pathetic & get organised. I figured if I could cover the new cast, when I get fitted with it next week, then I could swim lengths of the outdoor pool in the next town, for general body fitness, even if I refrain from using the recovering leg (note my use of words: ‘recovering’ rather than ‘bad’ ; think positive!), I can still exercise the rest of me. This will have the effect of improving my mindset, regaining my general fitness, aiding circulation & giving me a good workout whilst suspended in water; all great for rehab.

I intend to gauge what I can I can’t do with the AT , based on pain levels. As yet, nothing has hurt; as soon as it does start to cause pain, I think I can safely assume I’m going too fast.

6 Responses to “Is driving 2 days post op, going too fast ?”

  1. elsurfer on September 11, 2010 2:25 am

    Since you’re in a cast, I don’t think you run the danger of re-rupturing. The position your foot is in the cast should keep the AT from extending while it is healing.

    However, pain shouldn’t be an indicator of how hard you push or don’t push your AT. When I tore mine, it didn’t hurt.

    It was slightly less than 2 weeks post-op before I started driving again. No freeway/hiway driving. I drive an automatic, braking with the left, pushing the gas with my right ATR’d - toes, with heal rested down. I learned to drive this way, from racing go-karts when I was younger. However modulation of the brake with your opposite foot takes a long time to master naturally.

    Driving a manual with a cast is pretty crazy. You would be “plunging” down on your clutch or accelerator and having to move a bulky cast over to the brake (not sure which foot is ATR’d and pushing the clutch or gas)…

    Driving the happy path is quite easy. It’s those unexpected sudden stops and shifts that will cause trouble. You need to be prepared to do that.

  2. normofthenorth on September 11, 2010 7:06 am

    If you can install the little widget that shows your basic facts — and automatically counts the time since your injury and your surgery — it will make this discussion easier for us, and better informed.

    What you were told about surgery is, IMHO, somewhere between Just Plain Wrong and Medical Malpractice. That decision is now bygone, but it may indicate that your Doc and associates are Out To Lunch on the next decisions, too — like what constitutes an effective rehab protocol.

    I’ve posted one good one at , which I recommend you use as a model. (The bottom of the page explains briefly where it came from.) Also use the simple fact that I GOT a printed-out schedule when I started my rehab. Everybody (again IMHO) deserves to know where they’re headed, at least barring complications.

    I’ve “pushed it” on the driving side myself, so I’m not the best person to lecture you about the obvious facts — e.g., that you are risking more than your own well-being by driving in a cast, and even more than your own well-being and that of your beloved Oscar. I’m sure if Oscar were hurt (God Forbid!) by a car driven by somebody in an ATR cast, you would have no trouble deciding what was important and what wasn’t. (Aren’t you glad I DIDN’T deliver that lecture? ;-) )

  3. emmagiselle on September 11, 2010 12:31 pm

    I have tried twice now to install the time line widget: I follow the instructions but it just doesn’t show up on my blog. I’ll have to ask Dennis to do it for me. Maybe it’s bc I’m on a Mac.

    I completely ruptured my AT playing tennis on the 30 Aug. 2010 evening, playing tennis & was operated on the following lunchtime. I’m 41, fit, very active (usually) & healthy.

  4. emmagiselle on September 11, 2010 2:14 pm

    Normofthenorth…could you please explain which part of what I’ve said, this comment relates to ”What you were told about surgery is, IMHO, somewhere between Just Plain Wrong and Medical Malpractice.” ? I joined this site for some moral support & to gather more info about my injury & rehab, because I live in France & although I speak reasonable French, trying to understand medical jargon about a subject I previously (12 days ago) knew almost nothing about, from busy surgical staff who have better things to do than worry about my inadequate French, is challenging, to say the least. Your reply was vitriolic & bossy….were you setting out to try & make me feel more depressed about this situation than I already do; because well done! You succeeded!

    I have no trouble at all driving; I’m driving a car with a very light clutch, for which my toes in my initial cast are more than capable of operating; the brake & accelerator are all operated with my healthy right foot. I do not have any other option. I don’t have the luxury of having someone else to drive my son to school; I can’t afford to pay for taxis & next Wed when I have to return to hospital 15 miles away for my follow up appointment, I’ll have to drive there too, or miss the appointment.

    I’ve had a read through various of your lengthy posts; I think I’m understanding a proportion of what you’re saying, in between deciphering your own extensive medical jargon. Blimey; no wonder I have trouble following what the French doctors are saying to me! I’m struggling to follow this subject in my own language!

  5. emmagiselle on September 11, 2010 2:17 pm

    Elsurfer; I only use my cast foot for clutch changes: brake & accelerator are all right foot. The worst that could happen in a sudden situation is my car stalls if I can’t depress the clutch fast enough. My car is a British right hand drive VW Polo.

    When you tore your AT it didn’t hurt ? Wow! How lucky were you! Mine felt as though someone had just sliced my leg open with a blunt carving knife. Surely if I’m doing too much, my body will indicate this to me with pain ? No ?

  6. normofthenorth on September 11, 2010 4:28 pm

    Sorry about the bossy post. You’ve already suffered enough, and deserve support, and I wish you all good luck and good healing. Personally, I’m actually one of the offenders on the driving thing, as I indicated at the top of my comment on that. I have great confidence in my own abilities and judgment, though none of that would stand up to scrutiny if I’d caused an accident. Others here have laid heavy trips on some people who start driving soon after an ATR, and I was kind-of “reflecting” those (unfortunately defensible) views for your “benefit”.

    If your recovering foot is only involved in the clutch pedal, then I’m with you on the driving, FWIW.

    Whether you want to even look into the discussion about whether ATR-repair surgery is useful or useless, after your own surgery — or skip it entirely — is up to you. I called it a “bygone”, and you have my permission to ignore this issue completely. My view is that the bulk of the evidence has essentially done a “sea change” or a “paradigm shift” in the past 3 years, from justifying surgery for many active ATR victims, to justifying it very seldom.

    My own story is that I’ve torn both my ATs, 8 years apart. The first got operated on because “everybody knew” that was indicated for an active person. When I tore the second one, I had to phone around to get steered toward a suitable surgeon, but I finally found one, and expected to get scheduled for surgery. Instead the surgeon told me about the new studies, and told me that he’d stopped doing ATR repair, because “I didn’t become a surgeon to do surgery that gives no benefit”! And he sold me a boot for $150 instead! That was the beginning of my education on this subject. I’ve summarized and discussed the evidence at, and some of us are still discussing it, e.g. recently on kaston’s blog.

    BTW, the problem with that handy widget MAY be that it doesn’t appear with the blog-page “theme” you’ve chosen (Bluebird). Maybe. I know it’s incompatible with some themes, but that’s all I know. Dennis will know, and respond here.

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    • emmagiselle has completed the grueling 26.2 ATR miles to full recovery!
      Goal: 365 days from the surgery date.
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