ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Acupuncture Cuts Dry Mouth in Cancer Patients
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Get in Step With Summer Foot Care
Bone Density Predicts Chances of Breast Cancer
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
CANCER
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Poor Women Seem to Be Skipping Breast Cancer Drugs
Family History Key Player in Brain Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Mom's Smoking May Lead to SIDS
Caregiving May Lengthen Life
Medication Errors Could Be Cut: Experts
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
DIABETES
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
The Raw Food Diet
Asparagus May Ease Hangover
Weight Loss Might Not Curb Knee Arthritis
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Restaurant Sushi May Have More Mercury Than Store-Bought Fare
Heavy Traffic Can Be Heartbreaking
Cleaning House May Be Risky for Women With Asthma
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
Glaucoma Treatment Can Prevent Blindness
Too Much Sun, Too Few Antioxidants Spell Eye Trouble
FITNESS
FDA Mandates New Warnings for Botox
Good Warm-Ups Could Halve Sports Injuries
Marathoners Go the Distance on Heart Health
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Healthy Living Adds Years to Life
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
Hand-Washing Habits Still Need Improvement: Survey Says
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Obese People Seem to Do Better With Heart Disease
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
Ginkgo Won't Prevent Heart Attack, Stroke in Elderly
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Exercise Eases Obesity and Anger in Kids
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
MEN'S HEALTH
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Countdown to Hair Loss
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
MENTAL HEALTH
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
SENIORS
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
For a Healthier Retirement, Work a Little
Healthy Diet Could Cut Alzheimer's Disease Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Vitamin D Deficiency Puts 40% of U.S. Infants and Toddlers At Risk
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Add your Article

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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