Hip Arthritis – Snow Joking Matter

How a Birmingham Hip Resurfacing got ski instructor Wayne back to his active lifestyle…

I’ve played sports all my life and have played hard daily since about the age of three. All I’ve ever really wanted to do was play sports, whatever sport happened to be in season. I grew up playing baseball, basketball, American Football (Canadian-style), and of course skiing. I started teaching skiing at the age of eighteen and have skied every year professionally ever since.

When I turned 40, I remember thinking, ‘this 40-business is a piece of cake,’ but that winter I remember feeling my leg shorten inside my hip socket – if that’s possible. Shortly afterwards my left hip started to stiffen and it was the beginning of a very painful three-year deterioration leading up to my Birmingham Hip Resurfacing operation by Mr. McMinn. I skied through the pain for those three years, but by the end I couldn’t take anymore. I could hardly walk and it ached walking, sitting, lying down and certainly skiing.

At this stage I was pretty depressed thinking about what I was going to do for the rest of my life, and I really couldn’t come up with something that I wanted to pursue. Then a client who was suffering from a painful hip found Mr. McMinn online. I phoned Pam Charles to set-up an appointment for mid-February, and during that telephone call she booked my operation for early May, just after my season finished.

I liked Mr. McMinn the moment I met him. After checking my x-rays, he said I was ‘a good candidate for hip resurfacing.’ This of course, was music to my ears and I looked forward to my op and never had any doubts as I totally trusted Mr. McMinn, as only a desperate man can. In those days the resurfacing procedure wasn’t nearly as accepted as it is today and there were plenty of doubters trying to talk me out of it. I had one hip specialist tell me to get another job, without a shred of compassion and that I was too young for a hip replacement.

I had my resurfacing operation in May 1999 at the age of 43 and I’ve never looked back. Within a week I was walking downstairs without a stick, and at four-weeks I was walking five-miles. At eight-weeks my wife and I were walking in the Lake District and got lost in a fog on a summit and found ourselves going down the wrong path into a different valley. We ended up turning a 2-hour walk into a 6-hour marathon in some incredibly testing terrain. I knew then that everything was going to be fine.

Now at 56 years-of-age I’m skiing in my thirteenth season since my operation. I ski seven-days-a-week for between 150 and 160 days, carrying a heavy backpack full of safety equipment. I break trail daily through deep snow and we climb with ‘skins’ on our skis around 80-days per season. I can honestly say I seriously put my hip and body through their paces and I never worry about my hip. I can also honestly say that Derek McMinn saved my life as I know it. I’m doing what I love, something that never could have been replaced, and I’m grateful for every day.

Just after the operation I studied with Body Control to become a Pilates Instructor and have taught Pilates in the summer months ever since (Pilates is a must for anyone preparing for or recovering from hip surgery). In my spare time I play golf as often as I can, and walk or cycle with my family. I’ll play a little tennis with my children, who are eight and six, but for the most part have given up on impact type activities as I feel I put my body through enough stress in the winter.

During the three year deterioration period when I was lost and feeling that everything I loved was coming to an end, I never dreamed I’d be in the position I am today, where I’m working hard and playing hard. And it’s all down to Derek McMinn and his wonderful team.

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