How soon can I return to golf after surgery?

How soon can I return to golf after surgery?

One of the most common activity questions after shoulder surgery is when I can I return to golf.

The most common procedures golfers have on their shoulder are an arthroscopic rotator cuff repair or a shoulder replacement. In both cases, the rate of return to golf is very high, with rates between 80 to 100%. Some studies even suggest that handicaps are lowered after shoulder surgery. Some of this could be due to decreased pain and improved range of motion after shoulder surgery. Or it could simply be that golfers slow down their swing initially after returning from shoulder surgery. Regardless, I don’t think anyone would mind taking a couple of strokes off their game. Interestingly, in a survey of my shoulder replacement patients, 35%
reported returning to a higher level of and 100% of were satisfied or very satisfied.
In my practice, I allow my patients to return to golf progressively as follows:

Small rotator cuff tears and shoulder replacements:

  • Putting at 2 months after surgery.
  • Chipping at 3 months
  • Full swing at 4 to 6 months

Large or massive rotator cuff tears:

  • Putting at 3 months
  • Chipping at 4 months
  • Full swing at 6 months