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Going back to golf after total shoulder replacement surgery will be very difficult. You can live the same lifestyle as before, but it is important that you take your time and understand that your body needs to heal before it goes back to what was normal for you. Your doctor will recommend at least 3-4 weeks of rest from any physical activity. But after your surgery, you can start working again on a progressive exercise program.
This article will present how to get back to playing golf after a total shoulder replacement.
Why Get A Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery?
A total shoulder replacement surgery is an effective way of treating chronic shoulder pain.
You may want to get this type of surgery done if you have a condition that makes it painful and hard to use your arm, such as:
- A serious shoulder injury like a broken bone
- Severe arthritis
- A torn rotator cuff
Here is an article, according to WebMD, about things to know about shoulder replacement surgery.
It is also effective in relieving pain due to osteoarthritis. It can help you get back out on the course and on your way to a better life without any medication or other pain killers.
You will face fewer complications when choosing this form of treatment compared to other options. While it has its benefits, it also has some limitations, and you need to be aware of them before you choose this option.
One of the disadvantages is that total shoulder replacement surgery does not last forever, as some people might think.
Total shoulder replacement surgery lasts about 15 years for most people, but for some, it lasts only 10-15 years, while others had reported that it lasted up to 25 years before they had revision surgery.
If you are suffering from chronic shoulder pains due to tennis, racquetball, golf, skiing, or snowboarding, it might be time to consider total shoulder replacement surgery as your treatment option. However, don’t forget to check with your doctor and do your own research first before going into such a big decision.
Prior total shoulder replacement surgeries have gone well for most people. However, it is important that you plan ahead of time and prepare yourself for the process before you go ahead and get the surgery done at the local hospital.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has recently published an article regarding all things related to total shoulder reconstruction surgery. This article covers the most common causes for shoulder replacement surgery, as well as the timeline and outcomes. Click to read the article.
Choosing total shoulder replacement surgery is no easy decision, but in some situations, it is the best one. You should speak with your doctor before making a final decision.
What To Expect: Golf After Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery
After surgery, your doctor will provide you with instructions to follow in the next few weeks to help your recovery. At first, you will be required to wear a sling and keep your shoulder in a relaxed position.
As the muscles heal, which should happen around the fourth-week post-surgery, you will begin to do some range of motion exercises. Your first task is to regain control over pain and discomfort with these exercises, followed by gaining control over the flexibility of all movements.
You then start doing strengthening exercises of the shoulder region as well as full rotations inwards and outwards and flexing exercises for the shoulder joint.
The goal here is to provide adequate strength in your shoulder before you start playing golf again after total shoulder replacement surgery. A full range of motion will not be possible until at least three months after surgery.
The exercises are designed to increase your stamina and strength. Further, these exercises will prepare you for resuming a wide range of activities, including golf.
Week 5-6: More Range of Motion Exercises
It is recommended that you start with some range of motion exercises during the fifth-week post-surgery. This helps you regain flexibility in your shoulder muscles and joints.
It strengthens the muscles supporting your shoulder joint as well, allowing you to play golf again after total shoulder replacement surgery.
At this point in time, you can start doing some basic strengthening exercises by flexing and extending your arm at a 90-degree angle in front of your body. Continue this exercise until it becomes easy for you to do a full range of motion with your arm and shoulder joint.
Week 7-8: More Strengthening Exercises for Shoulder and Arm
You can start doing the same exercise you did during the fifth week, but this time you can add some resistance to test your muscle strength in your shoulder joint.
Do not increase the resistance too much, or it will hamper your recovery process. You can build up resistance with a towel or rubber band.
Once you have gained control over this exercise, you can move on to other strengthening exercises such as rotational movements and abduction exercises. It is recommended that you do these exercises for 15 minutes per session during these two weeks after surgery.
Month 3-4: Full Range of Motion Exercises
By the third month after surgery, your shoulder is likely to regain a full range of motion. That is when you can start doing exercises in all directions.
However, avoid any forceful movements, which can cause pain and inflammation in your shoulder joint. You can also start doing exercises for your upper arm and chest region to help you gain strength and control over these regions as well.
It is also recommended that you do exercises for at least 15 minutes per session during the final two months before you decide to play golf again after total shoulder replacement surgery.
These exercises are designed to help you regain strength and control over movements of your shoulder joint. Over the course of weeks and months, you will regain your range of motion as well as flexibility in your shoulder joint.
As both these factors improve, it becomes easier for you to play golf again after a total shoulder replacement surgery.
How Soon Can You Play Golf?
Your doctor does not recommend hitting a golf ball until three months after surgery has passed since he or she will be monitoring the healing procedure closely during this time. If the doctor encounters any signs of pain or inflammation, he might recommend against playing golf at this time.
Your doctor might also recommend you take anti-inflammatory medications before you start playing golf again after total shoulder replacement surgery.
It is recommended that you wait for at least three months after surgery before resuming your usual activities. During this time, you should not do any exercises which might cause pain or inflammation in your shoulder joint.
The doctor might recommend anti-inflammatory medications at this point as well to help relieve pain and inflammation in the shoulder joint. You can start playing golf again after total shoulder replacement surgery once the doctor confirms that your shoulder is fine.
It is recommended that you follow the instructions of your doctor while going through these rehabilitation exercises. Do not play 18 holes of golf right after surgery; instead, try to play nine holes and work your way up once you have gained enough strength and control over your movements.
Preparation is the Key to Playing Golf Again After Shoulder Pain
It is important to learn about how to manage your shoulder pain and prepare to return to golf when your shoulder condition improves. Many people choose surgery as a last resort, but it will allow them to play golf again after shoulder pain without having to take medications.
You can get back out on the 18-hole course as soon as you complete the rehabilitation process, which usually takes 4-6 weeks, or longer depending on your pace of recovery from total shoulder replacement surgery.
There are many different types of exercises designed for people who have had total shoulder replacement surgery. If you are looking for golf exercises, you will want to speak to a certified trainer and exercise physiologist who can help design a program based on your goals and specific treatment.
The good thing about golf is that it doesn’t cause as much shoulder pain as activities like tennis and racquetball. However, some people choose to have total shoulder replacement surgery for their dominant arm, so they don’t have to take anti-inflammatory medications while playing golf.
Read more on how physical therapy for best golf performance.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Should I Expect After Surgery?
After you have undergone this surgery, you may notice a change in your range of motion. It is normal to be less able to move your arm around, but you should not find that your arm is completely immobilized. You should still be able to move your shoulder a little bit.
There are certain movements that you will not be able to do because of how they affect the joint replacement. However, you should be able to do most tasks using this arm.
The amount of energy that you can exert is going to be limited by the joint replacement. Many people who have had upper body joint replacements can still lift items, but they will not be able to lift them very high or for very long. Lowering an object can pose a bit of a challenge, but it is possible with the right equipment.
The same applies to climbing stairs and running on flat ground. You may not want to do any sports that involve running for fear of reinjuring your hip or knee. However, you should still be able to do most recreational activities.
2. Can I Play Golf After Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery?
One of the most common questions that anyone who is considering this surgery would like to know is whether or not it will affect their ability to play golf.
The short answer to this question is no. Most people can play golf or any other sport after they have had a total shoulder replacement within a year of the surgery on average. You will be able to hit tennis balls and do other racquet sports as soon as you are ready to play again without any limitations.
The same applies to golf, although it may take you another two years from the time of your surgery before you can get your handicap down below 10.
There are certain sports that you will not be able to do, such as contact sports. You will also want to make sure that you are wearing the right equipment when participating in any kind of physical activity.
You should not participate in any contact sports such as basketball or wrestling. It is also important that you wear the right safety equipment for these activities.
However, if you play tennis or golf using a racket, then there’s no reason why you can’t go back to doing those activities once your shoulder and arm recover from surgery and therapy.
3. What are my Limitations After Surgery?
One of the most common complaints after people have gone through this procedure is the pain they feel in their arms after sleeping at night. This pain may be due to restricted movement of the arm at night and is improved by using some kind of support or brace.
You should discuss this with your doctor so that they can recommend a brace or other device that can help relieve your pain.
You will also want to avoid any activities that you know are going to cause you pain or further damage the total shoulder replacement. You should not sleep on your bad shoulder because it can lead to the loosening of the implant.
You will also have to re-learn how to get out of bed from lying down without bending your arm too much. This may take some time, and you should be careful when getting out of bed in order to avoid causing additional damage to your arm.