Putting Off Spine Surgery Could Delay Return To Sport
Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: July 20, 2016
It’s estimated that between 30-50 percent of golfers will experience back or neck pain at some point in their life on the course, but many of them choose to put off treatment because they believe surgery would inhibit their playing ability. Unfortunately, putting off treatment may actually decrease their likelihood of golfing pain free in the future.
Golfers & Spine Surgery
According to recent research at Midwest Orthopedics, golfers may be able to return to sport pain-free if they opt to go under the knife for their back pain. The study found that 65 percent of golfers were able to play golf within a year of having lower back spine fusion surgery, and 75 percent were playing the same amount of golf as they were prior to surgery.
One patient in the study noted that spine pain was keeping him off the golf course, and although he hoped it would resolve on its own, the condition physically and emotionally drained him.
“Living with constant pain, you know, it wears on you, and it tires you out,” said Mike Rude.
Rude gave up golf two years ago due to the pain, but now he’s back to swinging his clubs on the course. He credited spinal fusion with helping him regain his livelihood and independence.
3-D Analysis Helping Determine Spine Health
One of the biggest issues golfers and other athletes face is determining when it is safe enough to return to sport. That’s the next issue researchers are attempting to tackle.
Through the use of 3-dimensional analysis, golfers and medical experts can get a first hand look at the stress point and torque being applied to the body during a swing. Researchers are using motion analysis to evaluate a golfer’s swing before and after surgery to get a better idea of when they may be able to return to full activity. They’re examining a number of factors, like how the club moves, how quickly the patient can swing, how strong their trunk is, how long their torso is and how strong their legs are, and they compared these numbers to baseline to see how healthy a person is after surgery.
Researchers hope to publish the results of their most recent study within the next year, the results prove enlightening, they want to analyze return-to-play duration after spine surgery for other sports like baseball, tennis and running.