Dr Chee Eng Keong

Do Patients Return To The Course After Total Knee Replacement?

Knee replacement surgery not only allows golfers to return to the beautiful game; it improves the quality of his life. Returning to golf can take 3 – 6 months (post-operation) and minor technique changes to one’s game will need to be undertaken to minimise the strain to the prosthesis. Physiotherapy is a vital component of rehabilitation.

How to best resume golf after undergoing Total Knee Replacement (TKR) surgery?

Start the game slowly, with chipping and putting.

Use a cart. Eventually, you can and will be able to walk the course but until that time, use a caddy or a roller for your bag. Carrying your golf bag may unnecessarily stress your new knee.

Use spikeless shoes. Spiked shoes fix your stance during the golf swing and will increase rotational stress on your new knee.

Avoid playing in wet weather, where the chances of slipping are increased.

Learn to play “on the toes”. Swinging flat-footed increases stress on the joints. On the backswing, the left heel should come off the ground and on the downswing, the right heel should do likewise. (Note – This recommendation is for right-handed golfers; left-handed golfers need to do the inverse).

Right-handed golfers with a new right knee may benefit from “stepping through” their swing with their right leg. The right leg comes off the ground during the downswing and during the follow-through, he steps toward the target. No golfer with a new left knee should attempt this, as it may result in excessive strain.

Right-handed golfers with a new left knee may benefit from an open stance. This may make the backswing a little more difficult, but if the player allows his left heel to come up, he should still be able to accomplish a full turn. The open stance sees the golfer facing the target. The hips do not need to turn as drastically to the left, thereby reducing the stress to the knee.

Dr. Chee Eng Keong is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon with Assunta Hospital. This articles was published in the Golf Digest Malaysia.

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