Driving and car travel
How soon you can start to drive depends on many factors: the type of surgery you had, whether your new joint is on your right or left side, and what kind of car you drive. Most patients should wait at least six weeks before driving, although some can start driving a bit sooner than that.
IMPORTANT: Before you can get behind the wheel of a car after hip replacement surgery, you MUST have permission from your surgeon. The movements described here may not be right for a person who has had revision surgery. Your therapist will guide you.
Here are some general tips:
- It’s not a good idea to drive if you don’t feel well or if you are taking prescription medications for pain relief.
- Keep your knee or hip precautions in mind at all times.
- Avoid traveling in cars with low bucket seats, or trying to climb into the back seat of a two-door vehicle.
- If you are traveling in a van or Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) which sits up higher than most cars, you should ask a therapist to instruct you about getting in and out safely.
- A plastic trash bag placed across the car’s back seat helps you slide across more easily.
- If you feel unsteady or it’s the first time you are getting into a car, have someone standing by to help you.