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3 Things Golfers Must Do After a Knee Replacement

A really important and common issue that we see is that after you’ve had your knees replaced, one or both. You may ask yourself “how the heck do I get back to playing golf”. We deal with this all the time and one of the first questions we ask is which leg did you get the knee replacement? If you’re standing over the golf ball, if you had your replacement on your trail side that’s the easier one to get back to playing the game of golf at a similar or hopefully better level than before you had the surgery. If you had the replacement on your lead leg, we have some other considerations that we want to chat about today. The big thing to think about with your knee replacement is before you get back to playing the game of golf we need to make sure of three simple but critical steps.

Step 1:

The first is how well do you rotate into your trail leg and how well do you rotate into your lead leg. If you do not have the ability within the hips to internally rotate to the positions you need to get to, that is going to increase the stress on your newly replaced knee which is a big no-no. We do not want that to happen.

Step 2:

The second thing we need is to see if you have the ability to rotate in the shoulder. Can you externally rotate your shoulder to get the club to where it needs to go because if you can’t you’re going to try to get more turn from your knee which is not supposed to be a rotational joint, we don’t want to be torqueing the newly replaced knee.

Step 3:

The third is going to be how well does your thoracic spine rotate. If you’re limited in any of those three areas, there’s going to be increased stress on your knee. You’ve just spent thousands of dollars to get a brand new joint or two, you want to make sure you take the necessary precautions to ensure safety. 

Assess Yourself

Check out the link to our free home assessment, it’s going to take you through how to assess those joints and a couple more for free. We want to make sure that you are getting back to playing golf safely after your knee replacement so grab assessment and try it out.

Click here to get free at-home assessment

Trail Leg

As you’re thinking about getting back to playing golf, if your trail knee is the big concern you’re going to have to see how well you are able to post on that trail leg. If your hip is mobile, your spine is mobile, and your shoulder is mobile, we should be able to avoid a good amount of sway and we should be able to post pretty well. As you’re going through your rehab, you want to be thinking about your golf swing as you come back, the weight should be on the big toe through the instep and into the heel. You should be on the inside of that trail leg. If you’re not able to stabilize through there, we’re going to get a lot of swaying and that’s going to add more lateral stress on the knee which we really don’t want to see. We want a good solid connection to the ground, rotating that knee is nice and stable, the movement is coming from the hip, spine, and shoulder.

Lead Leg

Now onto the lead leg. What we see in all our data is after a knee replacement if we look at pre-surgery and post-surgery, we’ll see that even 12 weeks post surgery you’re not going to be able to push as well off of my lead leg. So your force production is going to be way down and that’s one of the things you want to think about in your rehab is making sure you’re being given exercises that help to restore your ability to drive force in the ground and hopefully increase it. 

That’s usually what we see by quite large amounts so as you’re thinking, the first thing is how well you’re gonna be able to push force into that lead leg. The second is how comfortable are you getting full weight coming to that lead leg when swinging a golf club. We have our 3D kinematic system measure golfers in our facility and your hip is going to be moving about 500 degrees per second. Your hands are coming around 2000 degrees per second. That’s a lot of speed coming through that lead leg and you have to make sure that you’re actually comfortable stabilizing, decelerating and posting while maintaining good balance on that leg. Making sure that all that rotational movement is coming from your hip, spine, and shoulders and not the knee is very important in your knee replacement rehab. Unfortunately in traditional physical therapy you’re not going to get into all of that so that’s where it’s important to have a transitional program in place that helps to give you some things to think about  from knee replacements and trail leg versus lead leg.


It is very important to assess yourself so be sure to download our free at-home assessment. If you need extra help, click the button to schedule a complimentary call with us at the top or bottom of this article. We have tons of resources to help you out on this knee replacement journey. You’re going to play golf for a lot of years to come, pain-free. We usually see at least 10 yards further off the tee post rehab if not more when rehab is done correctly. Goodluck with your knee replacement surgery Hopefully you found this article helpful!

Christopher Finn Sports Physical Therapist Morrisville


Chris Finn

Founder, CEO

Founder, CEO

Chris Finn

P4S Golf
“We Give Golfers A Clear Path To Longevity In Golf – Low Scores, More Distance And Less Pain.”

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