Can you return to golf after having your hip replaced? The good news is, yes, you can. In fact, Jack Nicklaus played in a Senior PGA tournament four months after his hip replacement—after an initial no-golf period of two months following the surgery. And most orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists give that general advice to their patients. Depending on how well your overall recovery is progressing, it is best to wait one to four months before picking up a club. Then, ease back into the game. Start by practicing chipping and putting before trying full swings again. At that time, we can advise you about adjustments to your swing that will avoid placing undue stress on the replacement joint.
Modifications will depend on whether you are right- or left-handed and which hip has been replaced. It is also important that you wear rubber-soled athletic shoes, rather than shoes with golf spikes. With spikes, your stance is fixed during your swing, allowing for no accommodation to protect your hip from excessive twisting. After several weeks, walking the course should not be a problem. Lace up your spikeless shoes, begin with a 9-hole game and later tackle an 18-hole course. On the links,
- use a golf cart, at least at first, so you don’t have to carry your bag
- alternatively, employ a caddy or use a wheeled bag
- avoid damp or rainy weather to lessen the chance of slipping and falling on wet grass
Recovery from hip replacement surgery can be extensive, but you will achieve the best results from your surgery by following our suggestions and committing to our rehabilitation process. Chances are excellent that once you start to play golf again, your hip will feel much better than it has in years. Maybe you will even shave a few strokes off your game!