ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Healthy adults have potential autoimmune disease-causing cells
High Birth Weight Doubles Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis
A Winning Strategy to Beat Spring Sporting Injuries
CANCER
Method for Treating Cervical Lesions May Pose Pregnancy Risks
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
Selenium, Omega-3s May Stave Off Colorectal Cancer
CAREGIVING
Hospital Volume Imperfect Gauge of Cancer Surgery Outcomes
Hispanic Children More Likely to Have Hearing Loss
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
DIABETES
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Eating Lots Of Vegetables, Olive Oil May Extend Life
Low-Fat Diet Does Little to Alter Cholesterol Levels
Breakfast Eggs Keep Folks on Diet
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Clear Skies Have Become Less So Over Time, Data Show
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Pollution Particles Impair Blood Vessel Function
EYE CARE, VISION
Brain Adapts to Age-Related Eye Disease
When Gauging Age, the Eyes Have It
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
FITNESS
Be Healthy, Spend Less
Simple Steps Get Walkers Moving
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Kids More Apt to Smoke If Mom Did While Pregnant
Even Young Kids Can Learn CPR
Less Education May Mean Poorer Health
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
MEN'S HEALTH
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
MENTAL HEALTH
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
SENIORS
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
Supplements Might Reduce 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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