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Author Topic: how much flexion required for driving?  (Read 3201 times)

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Offline htrumbower

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how much flexion required for driving?
« on: May 08, 2011, 06:21:45 AM »
I am 7 weeks post-op ACL reconstruction in my right knee.   My car is an automatic.
I am having serious challenges with flexion.   With 10-15 minutes of warmup in PT, I can get to 75 or 80 degrees.
I have pretty much been stuck there since week 2 after surgery.   Without any warmup I think I am at 45 degrees.
I have not been driving at all.

I am hoping for confirmation that I am doing the right thing by not driving.

Thanks.

Offline Kaputt_Knee

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Re: how much flexion required for driving?
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2011, 01:37:26 PM »
Hi and welcome to Knee Geeks - Beware it can become addictive  ;D

Most people say that with 90 flex you can sit comfortably in a car. However, flex is not the end of it sadly. You need to be able to move your foot quickly from the accelerator to the brake and be able to make an Emergency Stop without thinking about it. If you only have 45 cold, it looks unlikely that you will be able to a)be comfortable and b) have the reaction speed to move your foot from gas to brake instinctively.

Before I began to drive my car, I practised in a quiet car park with a slight hill in it. I worked on clutch control (when it was my left knee) and accelerator brake when it was my right knee. I did not go out on to the open road until I could do an Emergency Stop without thinking.

I think you will find that your insurance is void if you go out incapacitated and you are involved in any kind of accident. Doctors are reluctant to give a clear yes, in case something happens and you blame the doc for saying it was OK.

Hope that helps - sorry you are having such problems with your rehab. Be patient and it will come eventually. In the interim enjoy being chauffeured, even if it is restricting.

Sue  ;)
1989 big trauma R. knee - sorted
1990-2004 3ACL recons and 20+ arthroscopies -RK
3/06 LK ACL torn!
4/06 ACL recon, kneecap broken
09 &10/06- 2x meniscus trims
3/07 - Notch Plastic & Lateral Release
14/8/08 complete revision ACL plus LCL/PLC recon
6/2/09 returned to skiing! Whoopee

Offline htrumbower

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Re: how much flexion required for driving?
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2011, 04:28:14 PM »
Your answer is very wise.

A followup question if I may: what about public transit and crowds?

I am comfortable riding the bus.

I haven't yet used the trains but I think it would be okay during non-commute hours.

What do you think?

Offline jgabrils

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Re: how much flexion required for driving?
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2011, 12:51:07 AM »
I was out in Boston the afternoon/evening of St. Patrick's Day, on crutches (NWB) and in a full knee brace, getting around on the subway/busses. I think that once you're really comfortable on stairs with crutches (assuming you're using them - if not, then just doing stairs in general), public transportation is okay. Just be vigilant in noticing if other people notice you, and take your time!

As for crowds, most people are aware of someone with crutches/an obvious brace/injury, but others aren't. Personally, I would be hesitant about crowds until I knew I could quickly get out of someone's way if they were going to run into me. But if you're comfortable, go for it.

What was most helpful for me was having friends along with me - one who walked ahead and another who walked next to me. Even if it was just one other person with you, it'd be helpful.
3/14/11 lateral TPF & trip to ER - diagnosed as sprain
3/18/11 TPF diagnosed
3/19/11 MRI
3/31/11 2nd opinion
4/1/11 surgery - 2 screws
4/14/11 110+ ROM, NWB for 10 more wks
5/12/11 full ROM, NWB for 6 more wks, no more brace
7/1/11 FWB!