Background: Many patients who are considering total joint arthroplasty, including hip, knee, and shoulder replacement, are concerned with their likelihood of returning to golf postoperatively as well as the effect that surgery will have on their game.
Purpose: To review the existing literature on patients who have undergone major joint arthroplasty (hip, knee, and shoulder), to examine the effects of surgery on performance in golf, and to provide surgeon recommendations as related to participation in golf after surgery. A brief review of the history and biomechanics of the golf swing is also provided.
Study design: Systematic review.
Methods: We performed a systematic review of the literature in the online Medline database, evaluating articles that contained the terms "golf" and "arthroplasty." Additionally, a web-based search evaluating clinical practice recommendations after joint arthroplasty was performed. The research was reviewed, and objective and anecdotal guidelines were formulated.
Results: Total joint arthroplasty provided an improvement in pain during golfing activity, and most patients were able to return to sport with variable improvements in sport-specific outcomes.
Conclusion: In counseling patients regarding the return to golf after joint arthroplasty, it is our opinion, on the basis of our experience and those reported from others in the literature, that golfers undergoing total hip, knee, and shoulder arthroplasty can safely return to sport.
Keywords: arthroplasty; golf; hip; knee; shoulder.