ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture Eases Breast Cancer Treatment Side Effects
Acupuncture Eases Side Effects of Head, Neck Cancer Treatments
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
A Winning Strategy to Beat Spring Sporting Injuries
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
Healthy adults have potential autoimmune disease-causing cells
CANCER
Seaweed May Help Treat Lymphoma
Omega-3 May Safely Treat Precancerous Bowel Polyps
Herb May Counter Liver Damage From Chemo
CAREGIVING
Study Links Pesticides to Birth Defects
Child's Food Allergies Take Toll on Family Plans
Exercise During Pregnancy May Help Baby
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
DIABETES
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
DIET, NUTRITION
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
HELP TO LOSE WEIGHT ON A LOW CAL BUDGET
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Air Pollution Raises Risk of Heart Disease, Death
Common Pesticide Tied to Development Delays in Kids
Vest Monitors 'Individual' Air Pollution
EYE CARE, VISION
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
FITNESS
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
Seniors Who Exercise Help Their Health
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Simple Holistic Approach to Fight the Common Cold
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Omega-6 Fatty Acids Can Be Good for You
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Fatty Fish May Cut Heart Failure Risk in Men
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Folic Acid Reduces Infant Heart Defects
Play Creatively as a Kid, Be a Healthier Adult
Time to Remind Teens About Sun Protection
MEN'S HEALTH
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Keeping a Healthy Holiday Balance
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
SENIORS
Any Old Cane Won't Do
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
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Returning to the Road Tricky After Injury

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- You may have the drive to get behind the wheel again after orthopedic surgery or injury, but knowing when it's safe to resume driving isn't as simple as turning the key.

Orthopedic surgeons weigh in on the issue in the December issue of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

"Deciding when a patient can return to driving is a difficult decision that may require information that is beyond what is commonly available to the treating physician," Dr. Edward Rodriquez, an orthopedic surgeon and instructor at Harvard University's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, said in a news release issued by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "Driving is a multi-system task, and although we, as orthopedic surgeons, may be able to tell when a limb is strong enough to endure the physical demands of driving, many times there are other concerns that vary from patient to patient."

Universal guidelines don't exist for determining when a patient is road-ready, and only 19 states have testing procedures for patients. Also, only a handful of occupational therapy centers offer return-to-driving programs certified by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Rodriguez said.

Given patients' differing physical conditions and varying types of injuries, he recommended orthopedic surgeons and their patients start the process of determining driving fitness early. They should talk about how the recovery process will affect the patients' ability to drive and what may happen to reach that goal, such as whether recertification is necessary.

"The earlier you ask them, the sooner you can begin to make arrangements for retesting, if that's necessary, and for alternate transportation while you're in the recovery process," Rodriguez advised patients.

In addition to retesting or recertifying, he suggested patients discuss other options to make the return to driving less stressful, such as practicing their driving on less-traveled roads and in large parking lots, and driving only short distances until confidence is regained in his or her endurance and limitations.

More information

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has more about how to prevent orthopedic injuries.



-- Kevin McKeever



SOURCE: The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, news release, Dec. 1, 2008

Last Updated: Dec. 10, 2008

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