Does knee replacement get you back to golfing?

Knee ReplacementThe American Journal of Sports Medicine has an incredibly important piece of research coming out in its next issue. It’s available online now, and if you’re considering “total knee arthroplasty” to get yourself back to playing golf without pain, you need to read the results of this survey.  The results sound quite rosy when you read the abstract, but reading between the lines could save you a lot of suffering.

Here’s the setup.  Ninety-three golfers who underwent knee replacement surgery responded to a survey that asked about how knee replacement had affected their enjoyment of golf.

  • 43% did not return to golf within six months after surgery.
  • 19% reported that they were not golfing as much as they were before the surgery.
  • Before surgery, 28% were walking the course.  After surgery, only 14% were walking the course.

Not exactly the best numbers, and that last statistic is the one that you should really pay attention to.

Now, the rationale for this is that “further patient education is needed regarding the potential health benefits of walking during golf after total knee arthroplasty.” I don’t buy this explanation at all.

If people feel good walking, they’ll walk.  If they don’t feel good walking, they don’t walk.  It’s the same for any activity.  If it doesn’t feel good, you avoid it!

It sounds more like walking on a fake knee that’s been engineered to be as close as possible to the real thing doesn’t feel good (surprise surprise).  This survey didn’t look at the “unrelated” hip pain that probably started plaguing the golfers once their “defective” knees were replaced.

Do you think people are not walking on their fake knees because they can’t or simply need more education?  Leave a comment!

Read the abstract here: American Journal of Sports Medicine: Golf After Total Knee Arthroplasty


About the Author

Matt Hsu is a trainer and orthopedic massage therapist. He fought a long battle with chronic pain all over his body and won. He blends the principles he learned in his journey, empirical observations with clients, and relevant research to help others get their lives back.

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