Carl Fletcher - Flying high with a Birmingham Hip Resurfacing
Carl Fletcher, a now-retired PE teacher from County Durham, had a left Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) operation in 1998 performed by Derek McMinn. Carl has been extremely active in the 14 years since surgery, getting back to running, cycling, rugby, hang and paragliding.
An enthusiastic sportsman, Carl was shocked to find his hip pain steadily increasing, though he tried his best to continue being active. “Although I could still run,” says Carl “The next day I could barely walk.” Fearing his sporting prowess was coming to an end, he sought surgical intervention.
Told, like many others, he was too young for a total hip replacement (THR), Carl came to hear about the BHR by chance. “I was visiting a friend in Kidderminster and saw an advertisement in his local paper for Mr McMinn’s prosthesis,” recalls Carl. Introduced in 1997, the BHR procedure was in its infancy and relatively experimental at the time. However, Carl had a personal interest in engineering and was attracted to the high level of post-op activity and its bone-conserving properties. “I went to the hospital and had a very good time there, after the operation when I woke up my arthritic pain had gone and has never returned,” confirming his previous expectations about the BHR and Mr McMinn, the surgeon behind the devices design.
Once fully recovered Carl immersed himself in the sports he loved, never shying away from a rugby tackle for the Prison Service national team and “cycling at every opportunity” including up Tour de France hotspots Mont Ventoux and Col du Galibier.
Before he knew it Carl was making the most of his new hip mountaineering in France. When he spotted some paragliders and, not one to be deterred by a new physical challenge, he decided to learn. He was soon paragliding from local hills and airfields, before advancing onto the more demanding hang gliding.
Carl is enjoying the new lease of life his BHR has afforded him. “It looks good for the future and I have no qualms about it at all,” Carl says positively whilst gratefully acknowledging “Mr McMinn has given me back my life, because my sporting time was coming to a rapid end before the operation. It has continued for 14 years and will do for many more.”