Golf after total knee arthroplasty: Do patients return to walking the course?

Jeffrey D. Jackson, Jay Smith, Jay P. Shah, Stephen J. Wisniewski, Diane L. Dahm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Background: Golf provides an opportunity for relatively low-impact exercise for nearly all age groups and is considered a recommended activity for patients after total knee arthroplasty. Hypothesis: We hypothesized that total knee arthroplasty would afford patients increased ability to participate in and enjoy golf, allowing a large percentage of these patients to walk the golf course. Study Design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: Surveys were sent to 151 golfers who had undergone primary total knee arthroplasty from 1995 to 2000. The detailed survey included 33 questions specific to the patients' golf performance, enjoyment of golf, frequency of participation, timing of return to play, presence of pain, use of a cart, and related golf-specific issues. Results: We received and evaluated 93 responses (62%). Fifty-seven percent reported they had returned to golf within 6 months after total knee arthroplasty. Eighty-one percent of respondents reported golfing as frequently, or more frequently, than before knee replacement. Notably, golfers reported less pain while golfing after total knee arthroplasty than before (13% vs 83%; P <.0001), and 94% of respondents reported currently enjoying golf as much as or more than before surgery. Twenty-eight percent of respondents stated that they walked the course, rather than using a motorized golf cart, before surgery, while only 14% walked the course after surgery (P =.02). Conclusion: In this population of golfers, total knee arthroplasty reliably relieved pain that had been previously experienced while golfing, and increased or maintained this group's enjoyment of playing golf. However, 86% of these patients reported using a cart while golfing. Further patient education is needed regarding the potential health benefits of walking during golf after total knee arthroplasty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2201-2204
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2009


  • Activity
  • Arthroplasty
  • Exercise
  • Golf
  • Knee

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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