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Getting back into golf after joint surgery

So many of my New York patients love a good game of golf. There’s just something about stepping onto the green, driving a solid one, and hearing the sinking of a putt. When faced with the prospect of a knee or hip surgery, some individuals are concerned that it will impact their game—or worse, keep them off the course for good. Fortunately, a joint surgery doesn’t have to limit your golfing time. Keep the following in mind as you jump back into the sport. 

Take your time

It’s unrealistic to think that you’ll be at your A game your first day back at the course. As noted in a story by Golf Channel, you should start off with an easy, partial swing and gradually work up to a full swing. Chipping and putting can help you ease into play, and, after a few days, you can test your full swing again. If you’re used to walking 18 holes, know that you’ll need to use a golf cart until your new joint is ready to support your weight for a full game. If you’re in too much pain to press on the gas, ask a buddy to drive while you relax. If you hit a ball off course, be mindful of how far you go to find it. Avoid rugged terrain and steep hills by dropping your ball and taking a stroke. I promise it’s a lot less painful that taking a trip to the doctor. 

Keep building your strength and flexibility

Golfing doesn’t replace a good physical therapy regimen. You’ll need to continue working with your physical therapist to ensure that you are healing properly. Ask about stretches that focus on your thighs, hamstrings, and calves. Your therapist might also have some suggestions for improving your rotation, a key ingredient in golf. Don’t forget to stretch before and after each game. Your therapist can also help you target key muscle groups that will be beneficial to improving your golfing skills and allowing you to climb up bunkers and other inclines.

Get the right equipment

As you heal, you’ll need to ditch your spiked shoes in favor of spikeless options, like cross trainers. Shoes with spikes cause torque or rotational stress at the knee and hip joints, and that’s no way to treat your new or repaired body parts. The Golf Channel also notes that you can talk to your golf professional about a swing that utilizes a step-through method. This can also help to minimize rotational stress throughout the leg.

I firmly believe that a joint repair or replacement should not get in the way of your daily life. In fact, I believe that it should only improve the way you participate in activities you love. If you’re a golfer needing surgery, rest assured that your beloved game will be waiting for you and your new hip or knee.

Posted in: Joint Replacement

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