Evaluation of driving skills after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction with hamstring autograft
Valentí A (1), Payo-Ollero J (2), Pérez-Mozas M (1), Lamo-Espinosa JM (1), Valentí JR (1).
There are no well-established guidelines for safe driving after injury or surgical treatment. The purpose of this study was to assess the aptitude to regain driving skills and brake reaction abilities after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery.
This study compared the driving abilities and skills at four to six weeks after surgery of 31 patients who underwent ACL reconstruction with hamstring autograft with 31 healthy volunteers. Multiple variables, including pedestrian impact, car crash, red traffic light violations, visual reaction time, and other driving abilities were measured with a validated driving simulator.
There was no statistically significant between-group difference with respect to skill, driving ability, and brake reaction times (P > 0.05). The differences between right and left knees were also not statistically significant (P > 0.05).
However, patients with a right ACL reconstruction had a higher number of collisions with fixed objects (2.82 vs. 1.84, P = 0.239) and pedestrian impacts (0.23 vs. 0.00 P = 0.221), and had slower brake reaction times (585.69 vs. 456.02 ms, P = 0.069). The Tegner score was similar in each group (7.19 in ACL reconstruction group vs. 6.8 in control group, P = 0.092) and the Lysholm score improved as compared with the presurgical measurement (53.48 vs. 89.61, P < 0.001).
Anterior cruciate ligament surgery with hamstring autograft did not result in a decrease in driving performance and safety at four to six weeks after surgery with respect to skill, ability to drive, and brake response time.