How soon can I play golf after knee replacement surgery?

by Michelle Moran
How soon can I play golf after knee replacement surgery?

Your knee(s) need to be replaced. You want this done, but you are not looking forward to the recovery period and not doing what you love, especially golf.

Talk to your surgeon before surgery.

Consider speaking with your surgeon before your surgery and let him or her know your concern. Some good questions to ask are,

  • How long will the recovery take? 
  • What are my limitations during recovery? 
  • How long will I need assistance at home afterward? 
  • How long will I need physical therapy? 
  • Will it include Range of Motion?
  • How soon will I be able to return to golf?

Most people can return to golf in about 18 weeks, but your doctor knows your medical history and will be able to give you more accurate information on when you can get back to the fairway.


Start Range of Motion and Physical Therapy immediately.

Physical therapy (PT) should begin immediately after surgery; most hospitals now start PT right away. Be sure to have Range of Motion (ROM) included in your PT. Completing all of your recommended exercises is crucial for building your strength and regaining your flexibility.

Wear compression socks

Your doctor will most likely recommend wearing compression stockings after surgery. Compression will help keep the swelling down, keep the blood flow healthy, and lower your chance of infection. Your doctor will recommend a firm compression post-surgery. As you recover, you will be able to reduce the amount of compression needed. You and your doctor will determine which level is most appropriate for your needs.

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Start slowly and gradually build up your stamina and abilities

Use a golf cart
A cart will help with your endurance as you get used to being on your feet for more prolonged periods. You will have more energy for short walks on the green as well as standing.

Use a caddie
The extra weight of your golf clubs and balls will wear you out much faster. Have someone else do the heavy lifting.

Wear shoes without spikes
Although this seems counterintuitive, the spikes can put extra strain on your knees.

Avoid wet grass
Wet grass is slippery! It's not worth taking a chance and setting back your recovery time. Skip playing until the course is dry.

Wear compression stockings
Mild to moderate compression socks will make your legs feel better by keeping the blood flowing, preventing your feet from swelling while helping your muscles recover faster.

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Continue to stretch and strengthen your muscles.
Golf is good exercise and essential to your overall well-being with fresh air and socializing. When you continue to strengthen and stretch your muscles, you will be able to spend more time on the golf course!



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