Eminent Orthopedic Surgeon Reveals Secrets to Getting Back to Golf and Improving Handicaps After Joint Replacement
CHICAGO, June 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Recent surveys of golfers found it takes an average of up to 4.73 months to get back on the course after hip replacement and up to 5.1 months for knee replacement. This stands in stark contrast to patients who undergo hip and knee replacement with Richard Berger, M.D., a renowned joint replacement surgeon at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush and Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, whose list of patients include professional and amateur golfers. When Dr. Berger’s patients ask when they can return to 18 holes, they are surprised to hear, “four to six weeks.”
While golfers aren’t pounding the pavement like runners, years of stress on the lower extremities means joints take a beating. However, if someone is fortunate enough to have Dr. Berger for joint replacement, they can safely—and rapidly—get back to the joy of golfing. Why? Because he uses a minimally invasive hip replacement procedure eliminating the need to cut muscle, ligaments, or tendons. The result is a much quicker recovery with less pain.
Another reason for a speedy recovery is that Dr. Berger and his medical team have a guidebook full of tips for patients. Recommendations include protein drinks and pre-surgical exercises and a “Game Ready” ice machine to reduce swelling after surgery. In addition, Dr. Berger prescribes medications that involve multiple pathways so patients experience less pain and can quickly taper off them.
Steeped in mechanical engineering from his time at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Berger has patented designs on his surgical instruments. This hand-in-glove approach pays off, with patients raving about their smooth and speedy transition back to the golf course.
“Golfers with hip and knee pain should focus on strengthening the muscles around the joints so as to reduce the risk of future injury,” advises Dr. Berger. “This helps reduce pain and can prevent further problems.”
Not only can patients get back to the green rapidly, but recent research also shows patients who return to golf after hip and knee replacement can increase the amount of time they plan and improve their handicap.
“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but knee replacement surgery was an amazing experience,” admits Phoenix golfer Todd Hall, a patient of Dr. Berger. “I walked up and down stairs the day of surgery and played golf within a few weeks. In fact, it was so good I decided to get my other knee done just seven weeks later. After the 2nd surgery, my handicap went from a 10 to a 5 in record time.”
Here are some of Dr. Berger’s specific tips for “easing into” play:
- Stretch before and after each match.
- Start slowly with quarter and increase to full practice swings.
- In early recovery, use golf carts (or get help from caddies)
- Start with spike-less golf shoes to reduce rotational stress.
- Don’t golf in wet weather to avoid slipping.
- Alter techniques – lift the front heel on the backswing and back heel on the down swing.
- Maintain your weight, as excess pounds add stress to the joints.
“I’m hitting the ball farther than before I had knee replacement and playing better than ever,” says Milwaukee golfer Debbie Lurie. “My recovery after surgery was amazing and I owe it to Dr. Berger.”
For more information on Dr. Berger or to book an appointment, visit https://outpatienthipandknee.com/ or call 312-432-2557.
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SOURCE Dr. Richard Berger