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Since Tiger Woods knee problem got so much press, the incidence of knee problems and knee surgery amongst PGA Tour Players has gained much interest. The names of those with knee problems mentioned in the press are Vijay Singh, Ernie Els, Brad Faxon, and Fred Funk.

Howard Twitty

The opportunity presented itself to do an informal survey of the incidence of knee problems and knee surgery amongst the Champion Tour players the week of March 8, 2009. Howard Twitty a former PGA Tour Player conducted the survey and recorded the information. Verbal responses were obtained from 64 total active PGA Champion Tour Players of 79 players in the field at AT&T at Valencia, CA.

The questions were simple. Have you had or do you have knee problems; yes or no? If so, was it the right or left knee? Have you had knee surgery; yes or no? If so, was it the right or left knee?

The results were as follows.

45% reported no knee problem (29/64)
55% reported knee Problems (35/64)

Of those with knee problems, only 13 have not had surgery
35% of the total field has had knee surgery. (23)

Left: 12
Right: 3
Bilateral: 8

There is a prevalence of a left knee problem: 29/36 or 80%

There is a prevalence of left knee surgery: 20/23 or 86%

Summary: It is clear that knee problems and knee surgery are common amongst Champion Tour players at this event. Most of the players with whom a discussion probed the issue further were not aware that the golf swing could have been the cause. In some cases, there was a specific non golfing injury as in skiing. All were surprised at the loads endured by the knee joint in the golf swing. All were interested and appreciative of the information from our studies at the Scripps Institute concerning modification of the forces on the knee.

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