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Will I Be Able to Play Golf After Having Discectomy Surgery?


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Golf is a fun way to exercise and socialize at the same time. If you are an avid golfer—or even a casual player—it is understandable to want to get back on the course as soon as possible. After having a discectomy, you can play golf again. This article explains what you will need to keep in mind with regard to resuming your golf game after discectomy surgery.

Know the Time Frame for Golfing Again

According to
Spine Universe, patients are generally able to play golf again about six weeks after having a discectomy. However, if you had a spinal fusion procedure with your discectomy, it may take a bit longer to get back to playing golf.

Let Your Physical Therapist Help

Discuss your goals with your physical therapist. This way, your physical therapy program can be adjusted to focus more on the muscles and other structures that need to be strengthened to safely play golf again. Your therapist may even be able to set up a mock golf course or putting green to help you safely regain the ability to play golf after having a discectomy or a less invasive microdiscectomy.

Start with Short and Medium Games

Don’t opt for a full 18-hole golf game immediately post-surgery. It is better to err on the side of caution and return to golf in a slow and steady way, such as playing shorter games. Also, you should give yourself some time to rest while golfing, so make sure to take short breaks.

Spend Some Time at the Putting Green or Driving Range

Before playing a full or short game, work on the motions associated with golf that involve twisting and turning. You should also work on your posture and technique. This is especially important because incorrect form increases the risk of reherniation, which could result in the need for additional
herniated disc surgery.

Take Some Other Precautions

Use a caddy to transport your golf gear. You should not carry your own clubs due to the excess weight and pressure they will put on your healing spine. Additionally, use a golf cart to get around so you are not walking too much. While walking is a gentle form of exercise, it can be a bit more strenuous if you are going over hills and other uneven terrain. Also, avoid playing golf in the rain. Doing so increases your risk of falling, which you should avoid after having a discectomy.

Alcohol should be avoided as well, especially if you are still taking post-surgery pain meds. Even if you are not taking pain medication anymore, alcohol still increases your risk of falling as you play. If you do feel the need to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Lastly, take a break if you experience any pain. If pain or related discomfort continues, see your doctor.

Even though a
discectomy is a common and generally quite successful procedure, a hole is frequently left in the outer wall of the disc. In fact, 70 percent of all reherniations come from large holes in the disc. These reherniations often require additional surgery or even fusions. Fortunately, there is a new treatment specifically designed to close the large holes that are often left in spinal discs after discectomy surgery. Barricaid is a bone-anchored device proven to reduce reherniations, and 95 percent of Barricaid patients did not undergo a reoperation due to reherniation in a 2-year study timeframe. This treatment is done immediately following the discectomy—during the same operation—and does not require any additional incisions or time in the hospital. 

If you have any questions about the Barricaid treatment or how to get access to Barricaid, ask your doctor or contact us at 844-705-1081.

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