The Knee, ISSN: 0968-0160, Vol: 15, Issue: 4, Page: 295-298

Does the brake response time of the right leg change after left total knee arthroplasty? A prospective study

Marques, Carlos J; Barreiros, João; Cabri, Jan; Carita, Ana I; Friesecke, Christian; Loehr, Jochen F

Patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty often ask when they can safely resume car driving. There is little evidence available on which physicians can rely when advising patients on this issue. In a prospective study we assessed the brake response time of 24 patients admitted to the clinic for left total knee arthroplasty preoperatively and then 10 days after surgery. On each measurement day the patients performed two tasks, a simple and a complex brake response time task in a car simulator. Ten days after left TKA the brake response time for the simple task had decreased by 3.6% ( p = 0.24), the reaction time by 3.1% ( p = 0.34) and the movement time by 6.6% ( p = 0.07). However, the performance improvement was not statistically significant. Task complexity increased brake response time at both time points. A 5.8% increase was significant ( p = 0.01) at 10 days after surgery. Based on our results, we suggest that patients who have undergone left total knee arthroplasty may resume car driving 10 days after surgery as long as they drive a car with automatic transmission.

Download article