Driving After A Total Knee Replacement

Hi everyone. After receiving some requests regarding driving after a total knee replacement (tkr), I thought a post here would be appropriate…

The standard literature us patients are given upon preparing for a tkr recommends not driving until at least 6 weeks after surgery. I had no choice but to do it sooner, however.

The reason being is that I needed to go to physical therapy and didn’t want to impose upon anyone for a  lift. Besides, I like to drive and wanted to experiment – as long as I didn’t harm myself.

Well, I can definitely see how six weeks is an appropriate time frame if the leg you use for the accelerator is the one that had a total knee replacement.

For instance, if your bionic knee is on your right leg, you’re going to have difficulty driving. There just won’t be enough flexibility to operate the accelerator, in my opinion.

However, my bionic knee is on my left leg. I could operate the accelerator with no problem. There were other problems (concerns) as mentioned below.

If my car was clutch-operated, there was no way I could have driven it within six weeks. Maybe after about 4-6 weeks, but even then there would have been extreme discomfort. Hey, driving a clutch might be another good recuperation exercise. 😉

My car has an automatic transmission. I had a problem,   with the following while driving after a total knee replacement. You may be the same:

  • Getting in and out of the car. Extreme caution had to be used to prevent any turning of the foot, hitting of the leg, and unnecessary bending of the leg.

  • Seat adjustment. I needed to put my seat back as far as I could to get in and out my vehicle properly. Nine months later, I still need to do this sometimes.

  • Sitting comfortably. This was painful. I needed to elevate my foot to alleviate some of the knee pain.

  • Time involved. It definitely is not a quick process.  The entire process is much slower than typical.

There were other areas that caused concern, but the above four were the most noticeable. No complaints, just stating facts. 🙂

Hope this helps others going through the same thing.



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AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns.

This healthline.com and WEGO Health award-winning site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.