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Older golfers practicing with degenerative arthritis in left knee

knee arthritis meniscus practice

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#1 bladesoshanter

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Posted 16 January 2019 - 01:58 AM

About a year ago I tore my left knee meniscus (hauling my chimney bucket by bucket down three flights) and after the orthopedic guys looked at the imaging (two surgeons), each concluded the knee was too far gone to remedy the tear with a snip, and the leg a ‘bad candidate’ for any replacements. I have a few buddies who are 10-15 years older than me and pretty rough riders and they manage. Over the summer I humped it 3-5 rounds a week or more. Swam, gym, spin, and recently on bike. Still sharp aches when working against the left side and gotta figure a lotta guys here in my boat.

I’m just a few years from 60 now and figure I’m not going to ever shoot par golf if I don’t work harder. I was looking at that huge swing speed thread and reading about needing to be “healthy” to do it, but I figure it’s all relative, or is that just wishful thinking? Anybody here a lame duck like me powering through it and doing any offseason swing speed training or strengthening? Are you able to work the knee stronger and manage to avoid further damage?

Hoping to find a little hope somewhere  amidst the field here... thx.


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#2 MountainGoat

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Posted 16 January 2019 - 09:38 AM

You have to listen to your body, not chase the perfect swing.  I've had both knees scoped twice.  I had to modify my stance to keep from twisting around the left one.

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#3 bladesoshanter

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Posted 16 January 2019 - 10:39 AM

View PostMountainGoat, on 16 January 2019 - 09:38 AM, said:

You have to listen to your body, not chase the perfect swing.  I've had both knees scoped twice.  I had to modify my stance to keep from twisting around the left one.

Thanks. I do that now as it is common sense. I too modify and adjust to avoid the twisting. Appreciate your wisdom, and while I'm not chasing perfection, I do hope to use the exercise time to improve my golf.

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#4 Gautama

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Posted 16 January 2019 - 09:12 PM

I'm like the poster child for orthopedic injuries. Two meniscus repair surgeries as a kid, multiple broken bones and dislocations, total shoulder reconstruction in 2010, total hip replacement in 2015, and total knee on the other leg in 2018. Honestly there is very little I can't do with the operated joints...way better than I was before the surgeries, and really I just don't ever think about it when I play golf, hike, bike, ski, etc.  Now to be clear, I SUCK at golf, but it's not the joints holding me back, lol.

Anyway, point being, I'd say go right ahead push yourself...your body isn't going to really let you go beyond mild aches and pains anyway, and if you wind up needing some repairs down the road, it's honestly just not that big of a deal.  Like at all...
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#5 Zitlow

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Posted 17 January 2019 - 01:06 AM

That's a tough one if you play right handed.


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#6 bladesoshanter

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 01:36 AM

Thanks for the inspiration Gautama. I walked 52 over three days last week, after hitting 500 balls on the range several days leading up to it, and have been limping ever since! I plan to continue to push myself until they put me down ha ha, but can't get a new knee, as much as I wanted the surgery. Has to do with DVT, swelling, veins being collapsed, all of that. Several NYC surgeons (separate opinions) told me "the leg is a bad candidate". I'd rather keep the thing so I guess the limp, hobble, whatever will just have to do.

I am hitting a million balls, but 90% 1/2 to 3/4 swings. Just working on my ball strinking. It's fun but a little depressin, especially when it occurs to me I will never probably smash it like I want to... just ain't gonna happen now.

But thanks. I'm glad to know there are guys like you out there far more battered. Cheers.

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#7 Atrayn

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 08:19 AM

I toughed it out 4 years too long. The last two bone on bone. Tried everything until a final bone spur left me no choice. I had a total left knee replacement one year ago. I watched Fred Funk Stryker medical ads and felt the modern procedure has made some great improvements with CAD generated surgical assist.

I was hitting chips/pitches within 3 months and full swings after 6 mos. I planned it coming into this season as I turned 55 and can now qualify for Sr USGA comps. I was playing some great golf right before the surgery as well. I can now walk 18 holes no problem and I feel stronger than ever. I'm looking forward to the 2019 season. The key is to DO THE REHAB....
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#8 RSinSG

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 08:25 AM

At my age a key component of my golf game is to be sure I take Vitamin M prior to playing.

(To spare you a Google search:)

In the US military, medical personnel prescribed motrin (ibuprofen) frequently and in large doses for any number of injuries or ailments. In the late 1980's and early 1990's before the generic version became available it was so popular that it accounted for almost 50% of military pharmacy prescriptions. The drug was coined the name "Vitamin M" due to its high number of prescriptions for US soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines.
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#9 sdandrea

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 08:28 AM

66 years old with left knee and right shoulder replacement.   It takes time to adapt, but my swing has evolved to match the range of motion I am left with.  I still enjoy the game and can still bust 80 about half the rounds.  Hang in!
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#10 wkuo3

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 08:38 AM

Why don't you ask your physician for referral of a physical therapist specialized in sports injury ?  The specialist will tell you if your wish is realistic and put you on a set of training regiment that tailored to your situation.
My personal experience is , to lessen the twisting on the left knee, you will eventually put more load on the right side.  You could point the left toes more toward the target at address position to reduce the twisting of the left knee and more of a stepping through with the motion of follow through.
But the extra load on the right side will cause some issue in the future.  
Play less golf, if you want to be active with other things in life.  Sorry to hear there is no remedy by replacement or surgery.   Don't give up, they might come uo with something to help with your injury in the near future.


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#11 dpb5031

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 08:54 AM

I can relate OP. I'll be 51 in a few weeks and have post-traumatic osteoarthritis in several joints from football and other sports injuries in my younger (invincible 😨) years. Had a major knee surgery in the mid 80s. The knee served me well for a long time, but it's been acting up the past 2 years. Eventually I'll need a total knee replacement.

Lead side (left for a righty) lower body injuries are tough on golfers. All of your weight ends up there as you're posting up and pivoting around your lead leg. Hip, knee, and even ankle take some pretty strong torsional forces, plus it's a repetitive stress type deal.

I've found that resistance training (weights & bands) helps. Squats, deadlifts, one-legged deadlifts, etc. help with strength, stability, and range of motion. All can be tough to nearly impossible if you're in lots of pain though.

I find ice to be the best therapy, and several months ago I started on Mobic (meloxicam) which is an NSAID that works a little differently than your typical ibuprofen or naproxen. It has helped and my entire body is in less pain in spite of playing a lot of golf recently. I also take liquid tumeric for its anti inflammatory benefits. You could also research and try an anti inflammation diet.

I've also found that improving your swing mechanics can benefit your body as well as your scores. When your body's fighting itself with all sorts of compensations and discombobulated movements the stress of it all usually results in pain and even injury!


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#12 bladesoshanter

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 09:43 AM

Thanks for the help everyone. The doctors gave me training in the right exercises and told me many go on to live fairly normal,lives, yes a bit of pain, without ever having the surgery. I cycle, swim, weight train 3x a week, do yoga, am at the Y a lot, and can snap my bike chain climbing a hill almost predictably, and still know more work can be done to fortify that thing.

I was going to set up a camera or iPhone and slo mo shoot the swing to see if some swing guru in the instruction section might have a suggestion.

Lead (thanks dbp5031) leg is where it all happens, I know. It's almost a stupid question or thread as I know better. Can't do much except roll with the punches.

Pills were always a part of my diet. I have prescriptions for pain and variants on the M pill but won't touch them any more, Slippery slope.

Pain is living.  Atrayn, I think I'm fairly close to bone on bone but I might have some time left. I am hoping fitness might help make the leg a better candidate for surgery. I will work on it six more months and go back and shop the doctors targeting a 2020-1 winter recovery if it can be done. It isn't sustainable I don't think.

wkuo3 I have always opened that lead foot a tad as I wanted the hips open from when I first started to play, and it does help. But when you get into the slot (at least for me) I'm generally shut off mentally about the repercussions of the hit. I think my body automatically guards against a really damaging move which is also partly due to back problems as well. Walking wounded ha ha.

Swing mechanics, a hot of clubbing down, resharfting, playing for inconsistency, lower d expectations... these are what I bet a lot of us face with our lives better than half past. Playing injured isn't so bad. We can do it we just aren't brand new, right?

My lead ankle has had multiple,compound fractures over the years, prone to rolls and sprains, so it adds to the leg's problems. After a long day, 27 walking for example, it is very swollen knee down. Usd to scare the piss out of me!

Now I just put it up, watch the news, have some water, a salad, etc.

I am unsure but maybe some of this might help others. Gotta be other baby boomers, guys and gals with bad lead legs.... thanks for helping everyone.

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#13 bladesoshanter

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 09:47 AM

View PostMountainGoat, on 16 January 2019 - 09:38 AM, said:

You have to listen to your body, not chase the perfect swing.  I've had both knees scoped twice.  I had to modify my stance to keep from twisting around the left one.

Hmmm. Just noticing I have replied to quotes on this site even int has thread! My iPad must be acting up I now see I can quote... odd. I just anted to say I like your pic mountain goat! You adjusted and work with what you've got. Common sense, right?. Still think we can do more with fitness and technique. Never going to be new again, that's for Sure!

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#14 Atrayn

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 01:58 PM

View Postbladesoshanter, on 12 February 2019 - 09:43 AM, said:

Thanks for the help everyone. The doctors gave me training in the right exercises and told me many go on to live fairly normal,lives, yes a bit of pain, without ever having the surgery. I cycle, swim, weight train 3x a week, do yoga, am at the Y a lot, and can snap my bike chain climbing a hill almost predictably, and still know more work can be done to fortify that thing.

I was going to set up a camera or iPhone and slo mo shoot the swing to see if some swing guru in the instruction section might have a suggestion.

Lead (thanks dbp5031) leg is where it all happens, I know. It's almost a stupid question or thread as I know better. Can't do much except roll with the punches.

Pills were always a part of my diet. I have prescriptions for pain and variants on the M pill but won't touch them any more, Slippery slope.

Pain is living.  Atrayn, I think I'm fairly close to bone on bone but I might have some time left. I am hoping fitness might help make the leg a better candidate for surgery. I will work on it six more months and go back and shop the doctors targeting a 2020-1 winter recovery if it can be done. It isn't sustainable I don't think.

wkuo3 I have always opened that lead foot a tad as I wanted the hips open from when I first started to play, and it does help. But when you get into the slot (at least for me) I'm generally shut off mentally about the repercussions of the hit. I think my body automatically guards against a really damaging move which is also partly due to back problems as well. Walking wounded ha ha.

Swing mechanics, a hot of clubbing down, resharfting, playing for inconsistency, lower d expectations... these are what I bet a lot of us face with our lives better than half past. Playing injured isn't so bad. We can do it we just aren't brand new, right?

My lead ankle has had multiple,compound fractures over the years, prone to rolls and sprains, so it adds to the leg's problems. After a long day, 27 walking for example, it is very swollen knee down. Usd to scare the piss out of me!

Now I just put it up, watch the news, have some water, a salad, etc.

I am unsure but maybe some of this might help others. Gotta be other baby boomers, guys and gals with bad lead legs.... thanks for helping everyone.

I just had to get off the painkillers. Injections work well at times, sometimes not at all. I couldn't walk 200 yards without stopping.
I had it scoped first but arthritis set in and I felt like I had no option finally. Good luck with your yours.
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that will swing a golf club as well as it can possibly be done." "That is probably as close to
the perfect swing as it would be possible for human beings to get." Ben Hogan 1965 SI

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#15 OldFrog75

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 04:47 AM

How fast does a person have to swing to shoot par golf?


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#16 bladesoshanter

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 09:19 PM

View PostOldFrog75, on 13 February 2019 - 04:47 AM, said:

How fast does a person have to swing to shoot par golf?
One putt will do it, usually. Bruised pride not logic got the best of me sorry. Thy  inner-Jekyll and Hyde manifesting itself gloriously.

Edited by bladesoshanter, 17 February 2019 - 07:31 PM.


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