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Driving

Get Well Soon

Helping you to make a speedy recovery after total hip replacement

Driving

Your insurance company should be informed about your operation. Some companies will not insure drivers for a number of weeks after hip surgery, so it’s important to check what your policy says.

Normally, driving should be avoided for the first 6 weeks and even travelling as a passenger is best avoided for the first three weeks (except for essential journeys), as getting in and out of a car can risk straining the hip and stretching the healing tissues. However, you should discuss this with your surgeon.

Before resuming driving, you will need to be fully recovered from your surgical procedure. You should be free from the distracting effect of pain or the sedative or other effects of any pain relief medication you may be taking. You should be comfortable in the driving position and able to safely control your car, including freely performing an emergency stop.

If you have an automatic vehicle and it is your left hip that has been replaced (assuming a right-hand drive vehicle), you may be able to drive earlier, but this should be discussed with your surgeon and would depend on your general health, medical condition and personal circumstances, including the views of your insurer, and whether you are a Group 1 (car or motor cycle) or Group 2 (bus or lorry) licence holder.

Driving - an exercise

After about 6 weeks, you might want to test your fitness to drive. Do this in a safe place without putting the keys in the ignition: simply sit in the driving seat and practise putting firm pressure on the pedals. If you feel pain, you are not yet ready to drive. If you feel sore afterwards, you may need to wait a day or two and try again. Only when you can put enough pressure on the pedals to do an emergency stop - should you think about driving again.

It is advisable not to restart driving with a long journey.

Driving - Notifying the Driver Vehicle and Licensing Agency (DVLA)

After total hip replacement, you do not need to notify the DVLA unless instructed to do so by your doctor; however, it is important to follow your doctor’s advice about driving. Higher medical standards are required for those holding a Class 2 licence, so for reasons of safety and comfort your doctor may advise you to delay driving further. You should also speak with your employer.


Ultimately, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are in control of the vehicle at all times and to feel confident that you would be able to demonstrate this if asked.

 

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