Injuries and illnesses in golfers and returning to play following orthopaedic surgery


This thesis represents a discussion and critical appraisal of a selected number of research articles published in international peer-reviewed journals in the field of sports medicine and orthopaedic surgery. This work reflects over 5 years of dedication and passion in the field of golf medicine. The research is novel in a number of domains including assessing rates of COVID-19 in elite golfers, rates of returning to golf following orthopaedic surgery, and introducing new methods to this field. This body of work was initially planned to be focussed on the injuries of elite golfers however, two unique scenarios arose early in the process. The first was the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for evidence-based protocols for conducting professional golf events. The second was the opportunity for international collaboration around returning to golf following orthopaedic surgery which developed during the 2nd International Congress for Golf and Health. Therefore, this thesis is divided into two themes; the first on injuries and illnesses in golfers and the second on returning to golf following orthopaedic surgery. The thesis contains; two retrospective studies, four prospective studies, one prospective study protocol, one systematic review, one systematic review/meta-analysis, one narrative review, one consensus statement, one letter to the editor and one infographic. It flows in chronological order from theme one into theme two which represents the strategy in place moving from one project to another and the interconnected nature of each study. There was a small amount of overlap as theme two began and theme 1 concluded and this represents the opportunity to begin collaborative work following the golf and health congress. Each study is critically appraised in turn covering the aims and objectives, methodology, results and conclusions as well the contribution of the study to the literature and my own contribution. This thesis builds on existing research, identifies knowledge gaps, and presents reviews and original research that contribute to and enhance knowledge in the area of golf injury and illness.

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This paper was published in Edinburgh Research Archive.

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