Driving After Rotator Cuff Surgery

It’s normal for anyone who has undergone any type of surgery to want to go back to their usual routine as soon as possible. It is very important to consider a number of factors before getting back behind the wheels. This may greatly affect your own wellbeing and safety of others on the road. Different doctors have different opinions depending on their patients’ conditions and their way of recovery.

Driving After Rotator Cuff Surgery

How Soon Is It Safe To Drive After Rotator Cuff Surgery?

Recovery from a rotator cuff surgery is of utmost importance and its okay if you cannot drive for a few more days. After the surgery, your arm is immobilized for minimum 2 weeks with a sling. The use of sling may be extended up to 12 weeks depending on your recovery which is different for different individuals. You must never drive with the sling.

Some people try and drive with one hand; operating a car with only one arm is dangerous. Besides, there are situations when you have to use emergency brakes which can be damaging to your surgical shoulder. You should also not drive as long as you are taking narcotic pain medication as they affect your driving capabilities to a great extent.

On an average, it is recommended not to drive before 6 weeks post rotator cuff surgery. Additionally, you must feel that you have the strength and are comfortable enough to drive safely. It’s better to start with short journeys, initially with somebody accompanying you.

Points To Remember Before You Start Driving Again After Rotator Cuff Surgery

You must consider the following before you decide to start driving again after rotator cuff surgery:

  • Drivers should check with their therapist if their therapy is complete and they can start driving.
  • They should also check with their surgeon to check if they have fully recovered from the rotator cuff surgery.
  • They should check on their insurance policy before returning to drive. The car insurance may not cover you for a certain period of time after the rotator cuff surgery.
  • Drivers must not drive under the influence of narcotic medications or within 48 hours after an anesthetic. Pain medications may affect the driver’s judgment and ability to concentrate.
  • The driver must be in control of the vehicle at all times and should be able to demonstrate so if stopped by the police.

Before you go back to the roads, make sure you test your driving ability in a safe environment like an empty car park. If you can perform the maneuvers that driving requires repeatedly, you may consider returning to driving. Begin with short trips and try to be accompanied by a driver. This will help you rebuild your routine.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 9, 2018

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