When can I drive? Return to driving following a wrist fracture: A critical review

Susan B. Stinton*, Dale W. Edgar, Niamh A. Moloney, Kathryn Refshauge, Evangelos Pappas

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Introduction: The primary aim of this review was to identify literature that examined factors which influence driving performance following a wrist fracture. Given the known scarcity of research in this area, secondary aims were to detail current practices including the driving habits of patients following a wrist fracture and health professionals’ opinions on safe return to driving. Methods: We performed a search in April 2015 using three electronic databases to obtain relevant literature in the English language. Relevant studies including clinical trials, surveys and case reports were reviewed. Results: The search identified 12 relevant studies. Five of these were clinical studies with a crossover design that investigated the driving ability of uninjured individuals with the wrist immobilised in a cast. The remaining were survey-based studies. The clinical trials showed that the presence of a wrist cast reduced driving performance in uninjured individuals. No studies investigated driving performance in individuals with a wrist fracture. The surveys showed that this patient group returns to driving despite perceived safety risks. Inconsistency in expert opinions on whether individuals with a wrist fracture are safe to drive was highlighted. Conclusions: There is evidence to suggest that driving performance is reduced in uninjured individuals when wearing a cast immobilising the wrist; however, the influence of wrist fracture is unknown. This, along with safety implications resulting from current driving behaviours and inconsistent information provided to patients regarding return to driving, highlights the need for further studies to ascertain which factors influence driving performance following wrist fracture.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)95-101
    Number of pages7
    JournalHand Therapy
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015


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