• How soon can I drive?
    There are no hard and fast rules about this. It is generally accepted that you are safe to drive once you feel capable of performing an emergency stop. This will usually only affect your right leg, but be prepared that you will also use your left to brace yourself. If in doubt, our advice is always to discuss this with your insurance company before getting back behind the wheel. Most patients are driving at about the two-week point after surgery.
  • How soon can I fly?
    The standard advice given is that the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is sufficiently reduced by about six weeks after surgery to be able to safely fly. We would, however, recommend that you wear in-flight stockings for the duration of your flight, until the three-month post-operative mark. This advice, however, does not really account for short-haul flights, which many patients are obliged to undertake. Consequently, if you are planning to fly within six weeks of your operation we ask that you let a member of the medical staff know, so that we can ensure that proper precautions are taken. These may be in the form of blood thinning injections or tablets.
  • What about my stitches?
    We ask that you arrange for your stitches to be removed at your GP practice between seven and ten days post-operatively. The practice nurse usually does this. You will have water resistant dressings over the wounds, which normally allow you quick showers. However, until the stitches are out and the wounds healed, we ask you to keep your dressings as dry as possible. You should be safe to have a bath two weeks after your operation.
  • For how long will I need crutches?
    As short a time as possible! Historically, we once asked all patients to use crutches for four weeks. However, this is no longer the case. Therefore, we are happy for you to discard them as soon as you feel happy to do so. The physiotherapy protocol starts in earnest one week post-operatively. If you still need crutches at this point, your physiotherapist should be able to help wean you off them reasonably rapidly.
  • How long should I take off work?
    This depends on what you do for a living. If you are office based, generally about two weeks is sufficient. However, if you can work from home, so much the better. Be aware that navigating a busy commute may be daunting until you have found your feet again, so a gradual return to work, trying to avoid the busiest times is best. You may find that sitting for long periods is uncomfortable in the first two weeks, and you may need to stretch your legs regularly. If you have a more active job, you may need up to six weeks off work, sometimes longer. However, we can guide you if necessary.
  • How soon can I take exercise?
    We ask for you to avoid high impact activities such as running for four weeks. The exception might be if you have access to some form of zero-gravity machine. Please refer to the physiotherapy rehabilitation protocol for guidance. However, activities such as stationary cycling and a cross-trainer at the gym are recommended as soon as you feel comfortable. For swimming, it is perhaps best to wait until your stitches are out and the wounds healed.