One of the questions I often receive during the office visit after a patient has surgery that he or she wishes he had asked before surgery deals with driving. Can you drive immediately after shoulder surgery, such as a rotator cuff surgery?

Allen asks:
I had a large tear in my dominant left arm’s rotator cuff that was repaired on March 27. The two weekends and one week of getting rides were a mixed blessing. I found myself riding with a driver arguing on the phone for most of the distance. I’d rather take my chances driving myself. My surgeon cited driver codes that I’ve not been able to find. My wife barely speaks to me, for taking the
sling off for brief periods. I almost talked my mom into assisting me in trading my 5-year-old car in, as it is the stick shift of my current car, which seems less than safe.

After shoulder surgery, especially after a rotator cuff repair surgery, you are often immobilized in a sling or shoulder immobilizer for several weeks. This restriction can apply to tears of the labrum, rotator cuff, biceps tendon amore. While I realize that many people are capable of driving with one hand, in this video I explain why that is generally a bad idea.

Also read:
Ask Dr. Geier: Return to sports after SLAP repair
Ask Dr. Geier – Shoulder Labral Tears

Man driving a truck after surgery

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