It is natural to wonder whether you can resume your most favorite pastime after you have had knee replacement surgery. This HealthHearty article answers the prickly question.
Golfers, golfers everywhere…
People above the age of 50 are increasingly likely to get a knee replacement, and there are about 6 million golfers in the US, above the age of 50.
Advancing age shows its signs in various ways. One of the most prominent is persistent pain in the knees. The all-conquering arthritis refuses to budge, and giving in to the good doc’s pleas to get a knee replacement is the only option. For many, a worrying question is whether they will be able to play their beloved golf after their knee replacement.
Knee replacement consists of replacing the bones in the knee by metal and plastic components, and is painful in the first few weeks after the surgery. Moreover, it can go horribly wrong if you don’t adhere to the rules set for the recuperation.
Orthopedics are still not unanimous on this contentious topic, but if you take the necessary precaution, you can play golf after you have had a knee replacement surgery. But only with certain absolutely vital precautions.
Here are a few tips on how to resume golf after knee replacement surgery.
DISCLAIMER: This article should not be used as replacement for medical advice. Individual cases of knee replacement may have different prognosis, and if your surgeon expressly tells you to not play golf, he is to be obeyed.
Take It Slow
Start with putting and chipping. Don’t even think about playing an 18-hole round, in the first few months after the knee replacement.
Use A Cart
Yes, walking is an excellent exercise. Yes, it is part of the fun of golf. Yes, you love to saunter between holes with your friends, cracking jokes amid general merriment. But in the first few weeks after knee replacement surgery, use a cart – no exceptions. Eventually, as your knee becomes stronger, you can walk the course, but don’t carry your bag. Weight-carrying activities strain the knee, and can damage your replacement.
Play On Dry Greens
Stay in when it’s wet out there. Slippery greens may cause you to fall during a swing. The fall itself may be caused by the knee replacement being twisted, or the replacement can get damaged by the fall. Avoid wearing spikes.
Exercises For Knee Replacement Rehabilitation
After your surgery, your doctor will tell you to follow an exercise routine to strengthen the knee. In the unlikely scenario that he forgets, ask him for strengthening exercises. Exercises are absolutely vital in order to get full mobility in the knee joint. Here are a few commonly performed strengthening exercises that can help you get back on the greens soon after the surgery.
Passive Hamstring Stretches
Lie on your back, and place the leg with the replaced knee on a stack of pillows. Rest the leg on the pillows and let your hamstrings stretch.
Straight Leg Lifts
Lie on your back, with your legs fully extended outwards, and your arms fully extended by your side. Lift one leg 6-7 inches in the air, and hold it there for a few seconds. Slowly bring it down, and repeat the exercise with the other leg.
Lie on your back, and press down on the floor with the back of your thighs. Tighten the quadriceps by applying pressure from your knees. This helps in strengthening the knee while locked in position.
Sideways Leg Sweeps
Lie on your back. Keeping the toes and the knee pointed upwards, alternately slide each leg outwards without bending it.
Lie on your back. Keeping your foot on the floor, raise your knee and slide your foot back. Return to the starting position, and repeat with the other knee.
Perform these exercises in sets of 4-5 repetitions at least 2-3 times through the day. These exercises will help you regain the full range of motion in your knees, and will help you get back on the greens sooner than you anticipate.