When can I drive?

  1. It is often unsafe to drive just after surgery. If you have had an upper extremity surgery, you are using a sling or are in a cast or splint, your ability to steer and control the car is likely impaired. Similarly, if your surgery was on your lower extremities, studies have shown increased braking time (time delay until able to press on the brake adequately), even when the surgery was performed on the left leg. Furthermore, the usage of pain medications and the potential distraction due to pain or other postoperative symptoms can make driving even less safe.
  2. I recommend not driving for 6-8 weeks after most surgeries and only when you are confident that you can drive, steer and brake safely. I suggest practicing in a parking lot, in off hours, prior to driving where other automobiles or pedestrians may be present.
  3. You may wish to consider discussing with your auto insurance company as to their “rules”. Some insurance companies will not cover you if you drive while using a sling, cast, splint or brace or while “impaired”, as after surgery.

Category: Surgical