The current study aimed to measure perioperative changes in driving performance following arthroscopic shoulder surgery using a validated driving simulator. 21 patients who underwent arthroscopic surgery for rotator cuff or labral pathology were tested on a driving simulator preoperatively, and 6 and 12 weeks postoperatively. An additional 21 subjects were tested to establish driving data in a control cohort. The number of collisions, centerline crossings, and off-road excursions were recorded for each trial. VAS and SPADI scores were obtained at each visit. The mean number of collisions in the study group significantly increased from 2.05 preoperatively to 3.75 at 6 weeks (p<0.001), and significantly decreased to 1.95 at 12 weeks (p<0.001). Centerline crossings and off-road excursions did not significantly change from preoperative through 12 weeks, although centerline crossings were statistically different from the controls at each time point (p<0.001). Surgery on the dominant driving arm resulted in greater collisions at 6 weeks than surgery on the non-dominant driving arm (p<0.001). Preliminary data shows that driving performance is impaired for at least 6 weeks postoperatively, with a return to normal driving by 12 weeks. Driving is more profoundly affected in conditions that require avoiding a collision and when the dominant driving arm is involved.
- driving guidelines
- rotator cuff
- shoulder immobilization
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation