Deputy Head Teacher Mike’s BHR Story…
In 1992, at the age of 43 I was first diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both my hips, with my right hip being significantly worse than my left. At that time I was still playing competitive tennis and cricket, having retired from playing rugby two years earlier. I was also running the occasional marathon and, more regularly, shorter distance events. I was cycling several times a week, both on and off road, and I walked regularly in mountainous and coastal areas. I was advised by my GP to give up running, which I did, but I continued with the other activities as best I could.
Over the next ten years my condition gradually deteriorated, but during that time my wife and I walked the 630 miles of The South West Coastal Path. When we started I was hiking with no walking poles, but ended using two. I was uncomfortable at the end of each day, but my biggest problem was getting over stiles. Cycling also became increasingly painful, and at times mounting my bike was extremely difficult.
My work as a deputy head teacher in a large comprehensive school was not really affected, but I gave up organising The Duke of Edinburgh Award, and was no longer able to play in staff versus pupil matches.
Towards the end of 2001, I was in significant pain much of the time, and my active lifestyle was being seriously influenced by my osteoarthritis, so I decided that my only option was to explore the idea of surgery with my GP. Because of my desire to remain as active as possible, I researched the alternatives, and was convinced from the onset that the only surgery for me was the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR), pioneered by Mr McMinn. Having requested, been sent, and watched the promotional video/DVD, it seemed logical to me that to retain the joint, albeit with a resurfaced ‘coating’, was the way forward. I had no doubt at all that it would be successful in relieving me of pain, and in enabling me to return to activities/events which I was missing.
At the start of 2002, I met Mr McMinn, who increased my confidence in the BHR further, and who suggested that only my right hip required surgery, and that my left one would improve once my right one had been repaired. This proved to be the case. Despite only limited BHR case history, and a short track record in medical terms (at least at that time), I had no reservations whatsoever, and had the surgery on my right hip on 6th February 2002.
Recovery was immediate, and I followed the physiotherapy/exercise plan to the letter, before and after my discharge from hospital. I was quickly back on my feet, and completely pain free. In fact it was only being without pain that made me realise just how much pain I’d been in prior to surgery. Within a month I was walking unaided, and by May I was cycling again. My fitness levels soon returned, and I began long distance footpath walking before the end of the year.
Since my hip resurfacing surgery, my active lifestyle has returned to near normal. I no longer play cricket, but up until two years ago, when I recently sustained a shoulder injury, I enjoyed social tennis and swimming, and have competed in short distance triathlons. I have walked The Cotswold Way, The Severn Way, The Wye Valley Footpath, The Thames Footpath, The Wysis Way and The Gloucestershire Way, all long distance footpaths/national trails. The biggest bonus for me however, was to be able to cycle, in stages, pain free from Chester around the Coast of Wales and South West England to Plymouth, and then from Salisbury along The Mercian Way back to Chester. I have also ridden from Aberystwyth, in West Wales, across Mid Wales and Middle England to London.
My BHR was, and still is, a complete success, and I have no pain in either hip. I do not see this changing in the near future, provided I remain sensibly active.