I've been a competitive (and now) recreational golfer all my life. Last month I had a shoulder replacement on my dominant arm. I've been carrying around a golf club for exercise and feel pretty good. How long before I'm back in full swing?
There are only two studies published on patients involved in sports and recreational activities after shoulder replacement. Both suggest from their results to expect an average of three to four months for partial return to sports. It will probably be more like six months (from the time of surgery) to full return to your game.
But the wait should be worth it. Patients who were active but limited by pain before surgery report that their game is even better after rehab and recovery. An average improvement after surgery of five strokes has been reported by other golfers who had shoulder replacement surgery.
Sports specific physical therapy can be very helpful. This is the perfect opportunity to work on improving your swing and replacing bad habits with new, more effective movement patterns.
Eric C. McCarty, MD, et al. Sports Participation After Shoulder Replacement Surgery. In American Journal of Sports Medicine. August 2008. Vol. 36. No. 8. Pp. 1577-1581.
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