Study Finds that immobilization devices significantly reduce braking response time
Patients recovering from a right foot injury or surgery should think twice about how soon they want to begin driving again. According to a new study from the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS), it takes much longer to brake when the driver is wearing an immobilization device, like a splint or brace, than it does when wearing normal footwear.
Driving is important to many people’s social and professional lives, so when a person’s right ankle or foot must be immobilized after an injury or surgery, one of the first questions an orthopedic surgeon hears is, “When can I start driving again?” To answer this question, researchers measured emergency braking time in people using a brake adapted for use by the left foot, or wearing a short leg cast, a controlled ankle-motion boot, or normal footwear. The results showed that all of the devices, except for normal footwear, impaired the drivers’ ability to brake quickly. Study details and findings:
- Compared to an individual wearing normal footwear, an individual traveling at a highway speed of 60 miles per hour (mph) (96.6 km/hr) would travel an additional 9.2 feet (2.8 m) during emergency braking when wearing a right lower-extremity controlled-ankle-motion boot.
- A driver wearing a right lower-extremity short leg cast would travel an additional 6.1 feet (1.9 m) before coming to an emergency stop.
- A driver using a left-foot braking adapter would travel an additional 6.0 feet (1.8 m).
If you are suffering from foot or ankle pain, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC (Dr. Atta Asef and Dr. Vadim Glukh) can help provide the best treatment options for your condition.