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A Comparison in Driving Reaction Time Following Total Knee Replacement

IRB Number: 14102

September 15, 2014

Institutional Review Board, Hospital for Special Surgery

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Principal Investigator

Geoffrey H. Westrich, MD


Stephen B. Haas, MD
Mark P. Figgie, MD
Russell E. Windsor, MD, PC
John W Boles


After total knee arthroplasty, patients are eager to resume activities of daily life, such as driving.  But in the immediate post-operative period, patients exhibit an unsafe increase in driving reaction time. Most surgeons recommend that patients wait until 6 weeks after surgery to resume driving. But no evidence indicates that a patient may not return to driving sooner than 6 weeks post-TKA.  Taking into consideration the eagerness of the TKA patient to resume driving, as well as their safety and that of other drivers, we want to determine at which post-operative week patients may safely return to driving. We are recruiting 180 patients for two 10-minute visits, the first pre-operatively, and the second 4-6 weeks after surgery, where we will test their driving reaction time using a driving simulator machine.

Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria

Inclusion Criteria

• Right total knee arthroplasty patients between the ages of 40 and 80 scheduled for surgery by Dr. Westrich/Dr. Haas/Dr. Figgie/Dr. Windsor

Exclusion Criteria

• Patients who do not have the means to return for at least one follow-up appointment.
• Patients who don’t drive
• Patients who did not drive for more than 3 months prior to surgery
• Patients who mainly drive a car with a manual gear shift
• Patients who brake with their left foot
• Patients who are having revision surgery
• Patients who are having bilateral surgery
• Patients who develop complications that would affect recovery time

Contact Information

John Boles