How to play golf after a hip replacement
Updated: Apr 6
Introducing golf into your actual rehabilitation programme is a great way to improve functional movement. You should consider what stage you introduce this. It is recommended that actual games are left for late-stage rehabilitation and the functional basic movements are introduced slowly in early-stage rehabilitation.
What has the hip replacement done to me?
Firstly, we will look at what the hip replacement surgery has been done to your movement and muscles. During the operation the surgeon will make an incision up to 30cm to the side of the hip. The upper thigh bone (femur) is removed and the socket for the head of the femur is hollowed out. The socket is then fitted into the hollow of the pelvis. The implant is then placed into the hollow of the femur and is then pressed into place with bone ‘cement’.
This stress that the body has undergone means that time and rest is needed for wounds to heal.
Depending on which approach the surgeon has used the muscles made an incision through can differ, meaning the approach to rehabilitation slightly differs as to what exercises should be focused on.
What should I focus on early-stage rehabilitation?
Focusing on the initial rest and recovery stage is important to help surgical wounds heal. Next getting basic movement incorporated back is important to improve strength and balance. Exercises or movements to note, is trying to weight-bear as early as possible and walking training. This involves walking with crutches, using the stairs and sit-to-stand.
What should I focus on late-stage rehabilitation?
This stage is crucial for involving exercises and movements that are similar to what will occur during typical golf movements. Movements to note is hip external rotation which use the gluteal muscles and psoas major and minor. These muscles are affected during surgery and are important factors during a golf swing, as well as hip internal rotation. Exercises to note to improve the strength for these muscles are banded crab walks, lunges and one-leg squats.
It's important to give your body time to heal after surgery. You'll likely need to go through physical therapy to regain strength and mobility in your hip. Once you've been cleared by your doctor, you can start hitting some balls again. But take it easy at first - don't expect to be hitting the ball as far as you did before your surgery. With a little bit of time and practice, you'll be back on the golf course and enjoying the game you love.
Get in touch with MSKdoctors for any advice following a hip replacement.