Problem backs, frozen shoulders and jammed joints are as hazardous for veteran golfers as deep bunkers and tangled rough but no reason to give up the game.
That was the message for an audience of golfers and GPs at Abergele Golf Club from Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Paramasivam Sathyamoorthy.
The orthopaedic shoulder and upperlimb specialist conducts special clinics for sportspeople and works with Spire Yale Hospital, in Wrexham, and at Spire’s satellite clinic, Abergele Consulting Rooms.
As well as being an expert on the body’s mechanics, he has an extra insight into how the game can take its toll on muscles, joints and tendons, having tried some golf himself.
Among the audience for the special event dedicated to golfing ailments and injuries was Abergele Golf Club member and Spire patient Elwyn Bowyer. A 76-year-old former North Wales hockey player from Llanddulas, who was reduced to using a buggy for occasional games of golf before Mr Niall Graham at Spire Yale replaced both hips.
He said: “My injury problems were interfering with my golf. I had to use a buggy because my knees were sore but the specialists at Spire identified that it was referred pain from my hips.
“I had always played a lot of sport, mainly hockey and tennis, but I’ve had both hips done now and already this week I’ve played over 60 holes of golf and I’ve walked every yard of them.
Mr Sathyamoorthy, an expert on shoulder, elbow and wrist injuries, said: “The golf swing is such a complex movement and I’ve had many patients who are golfers consulting me, worried that they won’t be able to play again because of injury’.
“The stresses on the shoulder and elbow are caused by both the forward and backward swing and a considerable amount of the swing is an overhead movement.
“It is really not the end of the world if a golfer has an injury and most can be cured.
‘’If pain persists after the usual treatment of rest and painkillers you do need to do something about it and most injuries are treatable and you can soon be back playing golf again. An operation is not necessarily needed in most cases as most of them are treatable by simple measures once the root cause is identified.”
Since it first opened in 1988, skilled surgeons at the hospital have successfully carried out more than 52,000 procedures ranging from hip and knee replacements to bariatric and cosmetic surgery.
Throughout that period it has also managed to achieve a zero rating for both the bloodstream infection MRSA bacteraemia and Clostridium Difficile – C.Diff – which has been once again maintained over the past 12 months.
According to Spire Yale Hospital director Sue Jones, they come across many golfers with back and shoulder problems.
She said: “We are seeing more and more patients with golf related problems and injuries as well as other sport injuries.
We understand that for sports people it can be frustrating not to be able to enjoy their favourite sporting activities. We can help people to access treatment and get back on the golf course or the pitch quicker.
“We are planning to run more events like this in the future to help inform people about the expertise and help available.”
For further information and details of consultations at Spire Abergele go to http://www.spireabergele.com or call 01745 828900.