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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders

, 11:267

First Online: 18 November 2010Received: 29 September 2009Accepted: 18 November 2010


BackgroundAlthough the numbers of total knee arthroplasty TKA are increasing, there is only a small number of studies investigating driving safety after TKA. The parameter -Brake Response Time BRT- is one of the most important criteria for driving safety and was therefore chosen for investigation.

The present study was conducted to test the hypotheses that patients with right- or left-sided TKA show a significant increase in BRT from pre-operative pre-op, 1 day before surgery to post-operative post-op, 2 weeks post surgery, and a significant decrease in BRT from post-op to the follow-up investigation FU, 8 weeks post surgery. Additionally, it was hypothesized that the BRT of patients after TKA is significantly higher than that of healthy controls.

Methods31 of 70 consecutive patients mean age 65.7 +- 10.2 years receiving TKA were tested for their BRT pre-op, post-op and at FU. BRT was assessed using a custom-made driving simulator. We used normative BRT data from 31 healthy controls for comparison.

ResultsThere were no significant increases between pre-op and post-op BRT values for patients who had undergone left- or right-sided TKA. Even the proportion of patients above a BRT threshold of 700 ms was not significantly increased postop. Controls had a BRT which was significantly better than the BRT of patients with right- or left-sided TKA at all three time points.

ConclusionThe present study showed a small and insignificant postoperative increase in the BRT of patients who had undergone right- or left-sided TKA. Therefore, we believe it is not justified to impair the patient-s quality of social and occupational life post-surgery by imposing restrictions on driving motor vehicles beyond an interval of two weeks after surgery.

List of abbreviations usedBRTbrake response time

Pre-oppreoperative 1 day before surgery

Post-oppostoperative 2 weeks after surgery

FUfollow-up 8 weeks after surgery

IQRinterquartile range


SDstandard deviation

TKAtotal knee arthroplasty

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2474-11-267 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Michael C Liebensteiner - Michaela Kern - Christian Haid - Conrad Kobel - David Niederseer - Martin Krismer


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