Can I Golf After Reverse Shoulder Replacement?


If you are an avid golfer and have recently undergone reverse shoulder replacement surgery, you may be wondering if you can continue enjoying your favorite pastime. Golf is a low-impact sport that requires a combination of precise movements and upper body strength. The good news is that in most cases, you will be able to return to golf after a reverse shoulder replacement, but it’s important to follow your surgeon’s guidelines and allow yourself enough time to fully recover.

Reverse shoulder replacement surgery is typically recommended for individuals who have severe shoulder damage or arthritis. During the procedure, the surgeon replaces the damaged shoulder joint with a prosthetic implant that allows the shoulder to function with the help of the deltoid muscle instead of the rotator cuff. The reverse design of the implant allows the deltoid muscle to compensate for the weakened or absent rotator cuff, enabling improved stability and range of motion.

Recovery from reverse shoulder replacement surgery can take several months, and it is crucial to follow your surgeon’s postoperative instructions. Initially, you will need to rest and protect your shoulder to allow the implant to heal properly. Physical therapy will play a crucial role in your rehabilitation process, helping to restore strength, flexibility, and function to the shoulder joint.

Typically, golfers can start swinging a club again around three to six months after surgery, but this may vary depending on the individual and the specific details of their surgery. Before returning to golf, it is important to have a follow-up appointment with your surgeon to evaluate your progress and determine if you are ready to resume your golfing activities.

To minimize the risk of complications or re-injury, it is important to approach golfing cautiously after a reverse shoulder replacement. Here are some key tips to keep in mind:

1. Start Slow: Begin with gentle swings and gradually increase the intensity as your strength and comfort improve. Be mindful of any pain or discomfort and listen to your body.

2. Modify Your Technique: Work with a golf instructor or physical therapist to modify your swing technique to reduce stress on your shoulder. Adjustments may include taking a more upright stance or shortening your backswing.

3. Warm-Up: Perform a thorough warm-up routine before each round or practice session. This should include gentle stretching exercises to increase flexibility and warm-up the muscles surrounding your shoulder joint.

4. Use Proper Equipment: Invest in clubs with graphite shafts, as they are lighter and put less stress on your shoulder. Additionally, consider using specially designed grips or padding on your clubs to enhance your grip and reduce impact.

5. Beware of Overexertion: Don’t push yourself too hard or overdo it. If you start to feel fatigued or experience any pain, take a break and rest. It is important to gradually build up your tolerance and strength.

6. Stay Active and Follow a Healthy Lifestyle: Maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a balanced diet, can contribute to your overall health and recovery after surgery.

In conclusion, golfing after reverse shoulder replacement surgery is generally possible, but it is important to approach it with caution and follow your surgeon’s guidelines. Remember to allow yourself enough time to properly heal and rehabilitate your shoulder before returning to the golf course. By taking it slow, modifying your technique, and listening to your body, you can continue to enjoy the game you love while protecting your shoulder health.