Golfing after a knee replacement

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From release

CHERAW – Knee pain can take the fun out of golf.
It doesn’t have to be painful.
A total knee joint replacement can remove the pain and return patients to the golf course. Professional golfers, such as Fred Funk and Peter Jacobson, have undergone knee joint replacement procedures. 
“We usually advise patients to wait three to nine months before returning to golf after their joint replacement,” says McLeod orthopedic surgeon Dr. Thomas DiStefano. “To ensure a successful return to the sport, I encourage continued exercises recommended by the patient’s physical therapist until they are truly ready to tee it up.”
Before dusting off their clubs, patients can speed up the healing process and rebuild muscle strength by:
◆ Walking or exercising on an elliptical bike. It keeps joints limber, improves circulation and prevents blood clots from forming.
◆ Warm water therapy in a Jacuzzi or bath at home helps with the healing process.
◆ Light massage after the swelling lessens will break up scar tissue, encourages blood circulation and makes the muscles stronger.
◆ Adding foods with Vitamin C to their diet (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and other green leafy vegetables) works to heal the replacement after surgery.
◆ Adding foods with Vitamin A (carrots, cantaloupe and squash) will help to prevent infection.
◆ More than 90 percent of joint replacement patients, who golf, can successfully return to the game after they are completely healed.
“I recommend spending time at the driving range and working on swing adjustments after a knee replacement.” DiStefano said.  
“Also, practicing with wedges and short irons for the first few trips to the range will keep patients from ‘swinging for the fences’ with their drivers.  It is important to remember that patients should always start with partial swings and eventually work their way up to a full swing.”
DiStefano also recommends spending time with a golf professional who can help patients adjust their technique and recommend a step-through swing that works for them.  
“Wearing golf shoes without spikes, such as cross-training sneakers, can reduce the stress on the knee from torque and rotation,” DiStefano said  “Stretching always helps to loosen the muscles before teeing off, but I encourage patients to focus on the calf and thigh if they have had a knee replacement.”