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From the OR to the Fairway: Dr. Grant Shifflett’s Love for Golf

Jeff is a serious golf enthusiast who had always dealt with mild back pain – until one day he was golfing and couldn’t even bend down to pick his golf ball up. After trying injections, physical therapy, cortisone shots and epidurals to no avail, he knew he needed something more. 

He received two referrals, but after taking a look at Dr. Grant Shifflett’s website, he knew he was the perfect doctor for his care.

“To be honest, the reason I went to see him was because of his love and passion for golf,” Jeff said. “After seeing that [on his website], where else could I go?”

Dr. Shifflett is an avid golfer who has incorporated his passion for the game into his career as an orthopedic spine surgeon. He has treated a plethora of golfers and has even conducted research and published on outcomes after spinal surgery for golfing patients.

“I have a lot of golfers who get back chipping, putting at six weeks, and they’re doing swings, getting back on the golf course at three months,” he said. “I can’t imagine having to give up golf, something that’s so important to me. I value it, I understand their value in it, and take a lot of steps and strides and effort to make sure that they’re able to get back and do everything they want to do.”

Dr. Shifflett, who is affectionately known as “The Golfing Doc” at DISC Sports & Spine Center, even played as USA Team Doctor and for Team USA at the St. Moritz U.S. Celebrity Golf Cup for the Ryder Cup Trust in St. Moritz, Switzerland, last year.

“It’s a lot of fun talking to my patients about golf and relating to them,” said Dr. Shifflett, who has a 5.2 Handicap Index and plays at Shady Canyon Golf Club in Irvine, Calif. “Just because you have a spinal surgery doesn’t mean you’re shut down for life.”

Dr. Shifflett recently offered some advice to Golf Digest about how to prepare and survive a weekend golfing trip with your buddies.

"It's a marathon, so . . . get ready for a marathon," Shifflett told Golf Digest. "Getting ready for the trip is half the battle."

Eating right, staying well dehydrated and doing a physical therapy program can help get you loosened up and dialed in for the trip, he told the news outlet. If there is a history of past back issues that tend to flare up after too much golfing (is there even such a thing?), it’s probably a good idea to ask your doctor about traveling with a steroid pack, he added. It would be a shame to be stuck in the hotel room while your friends are out enjoying the course.

Thanks to a minimally invasive microdiscectomy performed by Dr. Shifflett, Jeff was able to make a surprisingly quick return to normal life. He was back on the golf course only a few months after surgery and ready for the next weekend golfing trip with his buddies.

Video: Jeff's Journey Back to Playing Golf

Watch Jeff’s journey from debilitating spine pain to getting back on the green, with the help of Dr. Grant Shifflett.


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About the author

discmdgroup DISC Sports and Spine Center (DISC) is one of America’s foremost providers of minimally invasive spine procedures and advanced arthroscopic techniques. Our individually picked, highly specialized physicians apply both established and innovative solutions to diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate their patients in a one-stop, multi-disciplinary setting. With a wide range of specialists under one roof, the result is an unmatched continuity of care with more efficiency, less stress for the patient, and a zero MRSA infection rate. Read more articles by discmdgroup.

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