Peter’s Story – New knee, new life!
Over 70,000 people have knee replacement surgery every year in the UK. Here is Peter’s story about how he has recovered so well he has officially “retired” his walking stick!
Peter, who describes himself as “85 years young”, had always enjoyed an active life with cross country running, long walks, gardening and cycling and then in 1998 he moved from Kent to the West Midlands to be near his wife’s family.
Peter’s wife developed dementia and he cared for her at home until she was admitted to a nursing home and sadly passed away in 2011. Peter was diagnosed with diabetes type 2 and had given up on gardening but it was only when he moved into his new retirement apartment that he realised how unfit he was and could barely get up the stairs.
Peter met up with a friend, who suggested he should join a Move it or Lose it class. Peter really enjoyed the class but over the coming months his knee pain was worsening and his doctor suggested that he have a knee replacement. Fortunately, Peter was given exercises to do before and after surgery – many of which he had already been doing in class.
As the muscles at the front of the thigh (quadriceps) often become weak with arthritis it is recommended that exercises that strengthen these muscles are done to prepare for surgery as the stronger these muscles are, the quicker the recovery.
The surgery went well and Peter was on crutches for 6 weeks, but he kept up the exercises.
“I was doing the exercises four times a day as I didn’t get any physiotherapy. It was hard going at first but got easier as time went on”.
Six weeks later his surgeon was so impressed with the progress he had made he was discharged and went off on holiday. He’s gone back to leading an active life and loves attending his weekly Move it or Lose it class.
Peter’s advice to others says it all, “I’m now walking two miles a day and feel so much better. I think this proves that we should not give up on exercise even as we get older, even if it is only 30 minutes a day.”
**It’s always best to check with a doctor or physiotherapist before doing any exercise, as everyone’s arthritis is different. Then try these simple exercises – you can even do them while you’re watching TV!**