When can I start driving again? This is one of the first things many foot surgery patients ask their doctors immediately following surgical procedures on their right foot or ankle. Unfortunately, the inability to drive often hampers an individual’s ability to work, socialize, and effectively attend to daily necessities that emerge. But should driving be delayed after foot or ankle surgery? Orthopedic surgeons agreed that delaying the return to driving until the right foot is completely healed is the only way to ensure the safety of the driver, and everyone else out on the road.
Studies have shown clearly that drivers who are impaired with their right foot in some sort of immobilization devices such as a short leg cast, air cast, or controlled ankle motion boot cannot brake effectively in an emergency. The tests that have been performed have examined data using every sort of immobilization device that is currently used following foot or ankle surgery. Every one of these tests determined that no device allows the foot to brake as quickly and safely as normal footwear. Right foot injuries or surgery mean the patient is sidelined from driving until completely healed when the normal range of motion returns and everyday footwear can be utilized.
Many drivers also may not realize that their insurance companies are not required to pay up when it comes to claims filed seeking coverage of an accident in which the driver was impaired with a prior existing right foot injury or recovering from surgery on the foot or ankle. The compromising of the patient’s safety and the safety of other people on the road is just not worth returning to driving before the right foot is completely healed. The results of the tests are clear; no immobilization device allows a driver to brake fast enough in the event of an emergency. As a result, patients should not return to driving until their foot or ankle is fully healed.