Golf with Hip and Knee Replacements: Part I of II
Osteoarthritis slowly develops in the weight-bearing joints, most commonly in the hip and knee, creating pain, stiffness, swelling and loss of function. There are many nonsurgical options such as: rest, weight loss, medication, physical therapy, steroid injections, and viscosupplementation injections. However, when conservative measures fail, surgical intervention, such as a joint replacement, becomes the next option. A total joint replacement uses a prosthesis to replace the end of the bone damaged from arthritis. These new metal and plastic surfaces in the joint allow the painfree movement and function in the hip and knee. These procedures have been performed since the early 1970’s. The outcomes for active people continue to improve with advances in technology, prosthetic materials and new techniques. As a result, many active people are eager to use there new joint to continue their active lifestyle. The ability to remain active while not compromising the integrity of the new joint continues to be the source of some controversy. It will be the purpose of this column to review the literature and make recommendations to safely return to golf with a hip and knee replacement.
Over twenty years ago I worked with Paul Remick, and avid golfer who had knee replacements to both knees. After months of extensive therapy he was ready to play golf. However, he was very apprehensive. He decided to insure his safety by inviting the two surgeons who operated on his knees (Dr. Eugene Chiavacci and Dr. Carl Steindel) and me, his physical therapist, to a round of golf at the Country Club of Scranton. I am happy to say that he played well and his knees held up to the task! Since that time many people ask me to discuss playing golf with total joint replacements. Interestingly enough, I discovered Dr. Larry Foster, also known as Dr. Divot, an orthopedic surgeon and avid golfer who is the author of “Dr. Divot’s Guide to Golf Injuries – A Handbook for Golf Injury Prevention and Treatment.” Dr. Divot, who lectures to PGA and LPGA golf professionals, medical doctors and physical therapists across the country, has reviewed the medical literature to determine the safety of golfing with hip or knee joint replacements. This research, as well as surveys from the Hip and Knee Societies of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, has concluded some interesting and encouraging findings for golfers with hip or knee replacements:
Contributions: Eugene Chiavacci, MD, Rothman Institute, Philadelphia, PA
Visit your doctor regularly and listen to your body.
NEXT MONDAY – Read Dr. Paul J. Mackarey “Health & Exercise Forum!” GOLFING WITH HIP & KNEE REPLACEMENT – PART II
This article is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. If you have questions related to your medical condition, please contact your family physician. For further inquires related to this topic email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul J. Mackarey PT, DHSc, OCS is a Doctor in Health Sciences specializing in orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. Dr. Mackarey is in private practice and is an affiliated faculty member at the University of Scranton, PT Dept.