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Your insurance company should be informed about your operation. Some companies will not insure drivers for a number of weeks after surgery, so it’s important to check what your policy says. It may depend on which knee has had surgery, especially if your car has an automatic gearbox.

Normally, you should refrain from driving for at least 1 week after an arthroscopic knee operation, until the swelling reduces and the knee motion improves, but you should establish with your doctor when it is safe to start driving. You will need to be fully recovered from your surgical procedure and you should also be free from the distracting effect of pain or the sedative or other effects of any painkillers you are taking. You also need to be free of any physical restrictions due to your operation, be comfortable in the driving position and able to safely control your car, including freely performing an emergency stop.

Driving - an exercise

After about 7–10 days, you might want to test your fitness to drive. Do this in a safe place without putting the keys in the ignition: simply sit in the driving seat and practise putting firm pressure on the pedals. If you feel pain, you are not yet ready to drive. If you feel sore afterwards, you may need to wait a day or two and try again. Only when you feel you can put enough pressure on the pedals to do an emergency stop, should you think about driving again.

It is advisable not to restart driving with a long journey.

Driving – Notifying the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)

After arthroscopic meniscectomy, you do not need to notify the DVLA unless instructed to do so by your doctor. Higher medical standards are required for those holding a Class 2 licence to drive lorries and buses, so for reasons of safety and comfort your doctor may advise you to delay driving for a little longer.

Ultimately, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are in control of the vehicle at all times and to feel confident that you would be able to demonstrate this, if asked.

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