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Braking After Bunion Surgery
Date:8/26/2008

Study finds most patients can drive safely six weeks following surgical treatment

ROSEMONT, Ill., Aug. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Six weeks following bunion surgery, most patients' pain levels are so low that they are able to get back behind the wheel of a car again. A study published in the August 2008 issue of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (http://www.jbjs.org/) also found that emergency brake time response in patients who underwent a first metatarsal osteotomy (a common surgical treatment for bunions) is similar to that of healthy individuals just six weeks later.

"It is probably not advisable to drive before six weeks after bunion surgery on the right foot--our research shows that the reflexes and the power required to brake suddenly in an emergency is fully returned only at six weeks in the post-operative period," says Graeme Holt, MBChB, MRCS, an orthopaedic surgeon at Glasgow Royal Infirmary in the United Kingdom and co-author of the study. "However, it is extremely important for all patients to discuss when they can return to driving with their surgeon after having any type of surgery to their foot."

This study focused on patients who were treated for hallux valgus, a condition that occurs when the big toe begins to angle sideways, toward the second toe, causing a bump on the side of the foot just below the big toe. This bump is called a bunion (http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00140), and can become swollen and painful.

-- More than half of women in the United States have bunions.

-- 90 percent of those who suffer bunion problems are also women.

-- Tight shoes (http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00143) and shoes with heels that are too high are thought to increase the risk of bunio
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SOURCE American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
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