Clinical Considerations for Return to Driving a Car following a Total Knee or Hip Arthroplasty: A Systematic Review

Annalisa Na, Kacy Richburg, Zbigniew Gugala

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Aim. The purpose of this study is to systematically review patient characteristics and clinical determinants that may influence return to driving status and time frames following a primary TKA or THA and provide an update of the current literature. Methods. This review was completed per the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Final electronic database searches were completed in October 2019 in Medline/PubMed, Medline/OVID, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), and Cochrane Library using preselected search terms. Manuscripts of prospective and nonrandomized studies that examined the return to driving a car after a primary knee or hip arthroplasty patients were included. The Methodological Index for Non-Randomized Studies was used to measure study quality. Two authors selected studies and assessed their qualities. All disagreements were resolved through discussion and, as needed, a third reviewer. Data on study title, author(s), country, year, study design, sample size, inclusion and exclusion criteria, age, BMI, gender, statistical analyses, driving measure, follow-up time, surgical approach, laterality, and postoperative management were extracted from each study. Results. A total of 23 studies were eligible, including 12 TKA studies (n=654) with mean ages between 43 and 82 years, 9 THA studies (n=922) with mean ages between 34 and 85 years, and 2 combined TKA and THA (TKA, n=815; THA, n=685), yielded MINORS scores between 6 and 12. Most patients achieved or exceeded preoperative response times between 1 and 8 weeks following a TKA and 2 days to 8 weeks following a THA, and/or self-reported return to driving between 1 week and 6 months. Influences on return to driving time included laterality and pain, but gender was mixed. Discussion/Conclusions. Study results were consistent with previous systematic reviews in that return to driving a car after a primary TKA or THA is highly variable, and most commonly occurs around 4 weeks, but can range between 2 and 8 weeks. While various patient and clinical factors can influence return to driving for a TKA or THA, the most common contributing facts were pain and laterality. The heterogeneous nature of the studies prevented a meta-analysis for determining contributions of return to driving following a primary TKA or THA. Regardless, this study updates previous systematic reviews and presents insight on patient and clinical factors beyond generalized timeframes for return to driving a car. This information and results from future studies are essential to guide clinical recommendations and patient and clinician expectations for return to driving a car after a primary TKA or THA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8921892
JournalBioMed Research International
StatePublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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