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Return to Driving After Hip Arthroscopy

Momaya, Amit, M., MD*; Stavrinos, Despina, PhD; McManus, Benjamin, MA; Wittig, Shannon, M., MA; Emblom, Benton, MD; Estes, Reed, MD§

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: May 2018 - Volume 28 - Issue 3 - p 299–303
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000457
Original Research

Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate patients' braking performance using a modern driving simulator after undergoing a right hip arthroscopy.

Design: This prospective study included 5 total driving sessions at which measurements were taken.

Setting: The study was conducted at an academic medical center.

Patients: A total of 14 patients scheduled to undergo a right hip arthroscopy were enrolled and compared with a control group of 17 participants to account for a potential learning phenomenon.

Interventions: Patients drove in the simulator preoperatively to establish a baseline, and then drove again at 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks postoperatively. The control group did not undergo any type of surgical procedure. The main independent variable was time from surgery.

Main Outcome Measures: A modern driving simulator was used to measure initial reaction time (IRT), throttle release time (TRT), foot movement time (FMT), and brake travel time (BTT). The braking reaction time (BRT) was calculated as the sum of IRT + TRT + FMT, and the total braking time (TBT) was calculated as the sum of BRT + BTT.

Results: The experimental group showed no significant changes in BTT (P = 0.11,

= 0.04) nor TBT (P = 0.20,

= 0.03) over the duration of 8 weeks. Although the experimental group did exhibit significant improvements in IRT (P = 0.002), TRT (P < 0.0001), FMT (P < 0.0001), and BRT (P = 0.0002) between preoperative and 2 weeks postoperative driving sessions, there were no significant changes thereafter. The mean preoperative TBT and 2 weeks postoperative TBT for the experimental group were 3.07 seconds (SD = 0.50) and 2.97 seconds (SD = 0.57), respectively. No learning phenomenon was observed in the control group.

Conclusions: This study's findings suggest that patients may return to driving 2 weeks postoperatively from a right-sided hip arthroscopy procedure.

*Steadman Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, Greenville, South Carolina;

Department of Psychology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama;

Andrews Sports Medicine Institute, Birmingham, Alabama; and

§Sports Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama.

Corresponding Author: Amit M. Momaya, MD, Steadman Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, 200 Patewood Dr, Suite C-100, Greenville, SC 29615 (

University of Alabama at Birmingham Orthopedic Surgery Resident Research Fund and The Comprehensive Musculoskeletal, Bone and Autoimmunity Center Research Grant.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

This study was approved by our IRB and was assigned protocol number X140602007.

Received September 08, 2016

Accepted February 21, 2017

Copyright © 2018 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.