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 (SynviscR) injections. However, when conservative measures fail, surgical intervention, such as a joint replacement, becomes the next option. A total joint replacement uses a prosthesis (artificial part) 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 an active lifestyle. The ability to return to golf is 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 the past thirty years, I have had the pleasure of rehabilitating countless patients with hip and knee replacements. What was once considered aggressive to return to activities such as golf, is now relatively common. But, to do so safely, requires preparation, precaution and good judgment. Dr. Larry Foster, also known as Dr. Divot, is an orthopedic surgeon and avid golfer and 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:
Sources: Rothman Institute, Philadelphia, PA
Visit your doctor regularly and listen to your body.
NEXT MONDAY – Read Dr. Paul J. Mackarey “Health & Exercise Forum" in the Scranton Times-Tribune.
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 associate professor of clinical medicine at The Commonwealth Medical College.