While it is not one of the more common golf injuries, a hip injury can put you on the sidelines from playing golf for a considerable period of time.
A hip injury is not that common in golf simply because it has a lot of structural support in the form of a ball and socket joint, plus there are typically strong muscles attached to it that can help control the forces placed through it.
However, there are degenerative conditions, like arthritis, that can wreak havoc on older golfers. In the most severe cases, this can lead to a hip replacement surgery.
Any type of surgery will keep you off of the course for an extended period of time.
While it is typically not the result of a hip injury, a total hip replacement is a fairly common procedure affecting golfers typically age 55 and older. Most likely due to arthritic build up at your hip joint, the goal of a total hip replacement is to restore range of motion at the hip, reduce pain, and hopefully improve quality of life.
When arthritis settles in at the hip, the joint space between the femur bone and your pelvis become reduced, or in the worst cases absent, and bone on bone contact occurs. This can be very painful, particularly in weight bearing positions. Loss of motion can be significant, resulting in difficulty performing day to day tasks, let alone an athletic activity such as golf.
If you are looking to return to golf following a total hip replacement, likely plan on being away from the game for at least 3 months. There are a few different surgical options for a replacement, depending on your surgeon, with the rehab time varying between them. Three months is probably a safe bet, although there could be some wiggle room depending on the exact surgical approach.
Following your hip replacement surgery, you will more than likely participate in some form of hip rehabilitation at physical therapy. The main goals of rehab are to regain strength, range of motion, and mobility. You will learn many hip exercises designed to make your involved leg stronger and more flexible. Your compliance with your hip rehabilitation program is extremely important!
Most, but not all, hip replacement procedures also come along with specific precautions for how not to move your hip following surgery. The most common precautions are not bending at your waist more than 90 degrees, not crossing your involved leg over the other, and not rotating at the hip so that your toes face inward. You will need to be cleared from these precautions, which is typically 2 months post surgery, before any return to golf can be considered.
The main issues in relation to the golf swing will be rotation and weight shifting through your hips. You will likely lose some power initially following your return to golf, but it should return within a few months.
Also, it may seem obvious, but once you do return to golf taking a cart is essential for providing some rest for your hip in between shots. Walking 18 holes may not be an option for a long time, if not ever.
Please remember, the content on this page is very general in nature. Please consult your physician/surgeon with any questions or concerns regarding your return to golf following hip injury or surgery!