Braking Time Following Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Systematic Review
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BACKGROUND: Currently, no guidelines exist to assist surgeons in providing recommendations to patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA) on when it is safe to return to driving. The purpose of this systematic review is to analyze the best available literature to assist surgeons in providing evidence-based recommendations on when it is safe to return to driving after TKA. METHODS: Following established methodology for the conduct of systematic reviews, a literature search was performed for prospective studies on driving after TKA. Two reviewers screened citations for inclusion, assessed methodological quality, and extracted data. RESULTS: Nine studies with 330 subjects met the inclusion criteria. Normalization of brake response time, movement time, and reaction time to preoperative baseline was assessed by pooling data across studies between 0 and 4 weeks and >4 weeks after TKA. Patients who underwent left TKA and right TKA showed normalization by 2 and 4 weeks, respectively. The limited studies that evaluated brake response time, movement time, and reaction time prior to 2 weeks postoperatively also showed normalization to preoperative levels. CONCLUSION: Patients with right TKA have normalization of braking time by 4 weeks, and normalization is as early as 2 weeks following left TKA. Surgeons must consider these recommendations and other patient factors that determine fitness to drive prior to deeming a patient safe to return to driving.
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