Lower Extremity Total Joint Arthroplasty Has Minimal Effect on Golf Handicap


Although the vast majority of arthroplasty surgeons allow patients to return to participation in golf following total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and total hip arthroplasty (THA), there is relatively little published data regarding how TKA or THA affects a patient’s golfing ability. The purpose of this study was to determine how golfers’ handicaps change following TKA and THA. We mailed a questionnaire to patients who had underwent primary TKA or THA at our institution and asked whether they played golf and for their golf handicap information network (GHIN) number. We then obtained handicap data for each patient that provided a GHIN number. Handicap increased 0.9 strokes 1 year following THA; however, this difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.20). Handicap increased 0.3 strokes 1 year following TKA; however, this difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.29). Our study demonstrates that despite improved implants, surgical techniques, and rehabilitation protocols that golf handicap does not change significantly following lower extremity total joint arthroplasty (TJA). (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 29(4):216–218, 2020)

Key words: total hip arthroplasty, total knee arthroplasty, golf, handicap, functional outcomes

Matthew L. Brown, MD; Blair S. Ashley, MD; Steven N. Copp, MD; and Kace A. Ezzet, MD