ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
Acupuncture May Not Help Hot Flashes
Meditation May Boost Short-Term Visual Memory
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Study Shows Exercise Shields Against Osteoporosis
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
CANCER
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
More Cancer Tests Mean More False-Positive Results
CAREGIVING
Undoing the 'Big Baby' Trend
Falls Are Top Cause of Injury, Death Among Elderly
Caregiving May Lengthen Life
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
DIABETES
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
DIET, NUTRITION
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
Western Diet Linked To Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome
Weight Loss Might Not Curb Knee Arthritis
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Gas Cooking Might Up Your Cancer Risk
Pollution Particles Impair Blood Vessel Function
Pesticides on Produce Tied to ADHD in Children
EYE CARE, VISION
Impotence Drugs Don't Harm Vision: Study
Nearly 18 Million Will Have Macular Degeneration by 2050
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
FITNESS
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
Super Bowl Loss Can 'Kill' Some Fans
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Workplace Wellness Seems to Really Work
Hand-Washing Habits Still Need Improvement: Survey Says
Laugh and the World Understands
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Heart Disease
Omega-6 Fatty Acids Can Be Good for You
Soy Protein Doesn't Lower Cholesterol
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Folic Acid Reduces Infant Heart Defects
Decline of Underweight Children in U.S. Continue to Fall
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
MEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Countdown to Hair Loss
MENTAL HEALTH
Keeping a Healthy Holiday Balance
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
SENIORS
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Green Tea May Help Treat Uterine Fibroids
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
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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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