Age no barrier
to active lifestyle

People today want and expect to live a full life well into their retirement, and consultant  orthopaedic surgeon Roger Tillman and his team at Royal Orthopaedic Hospital are working hard to meet those expectations.  A specialist in hip and knee surgery, Roger has worked at the hospital for more than ten years and says the increasing number of operations is due to people’s increasing longevity.

“We have an ageing population and those people rightly expect to have the right to continue all kinds of activities,” he says.
“It used to be that 50 years ago people with arthritis accepted that their lives would be limited by that but there is no need for that now.  Both hip and knee replacements are generally successful.”

The reason that hip and knee replacements are so common is because these are the joints taking most of our body weight.  Ankles can also be affected but replacement operations for ankles are much more complicated than knees and hips.

And each person will be affected in a different way.  “We have had cases of people who have had both knees and both hips replaced,” says Roger. “It is more common to replace both knees than both hips. It is generally the case that someone will be experiencing agonising pain in one hip and maybe just the odd twinge in the other.  And that is despite the fact they have done all their walking, sport and living on both legs equally.
“I would say we do about 600 hip and knee replacements each year and as this is a specialist centre we do many cases which are straightforward but also many of the difficult cases from across the whole of the Midlands

“The majority of the people we see are older but my youngest case was 26 and I have colleague who have operated on people even younger than that.”

And although it may be a routine operation, Roger says it can be life-changing. “We have so many patients who tell us they were in terrible pain and now they can get back onto the golf course or get on with their lives,”  he says.  “This is all about giving people back the quality of life we would all hope to enjoy.”

Birmingham Evening Mail
Wednesday, September 28, 2005

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