Alasdair Santini helps get fencer back on his feet

Andy Thornton – President and coach of Liverpool Fencing Club – thought his fencing career was over three years ago when hereditary arthritis in his knees made any form of exercise or sport virtually impossible.

But now, after two full knee replacements at Spire Liverpool Hospitals’ Bone and Joint Centre, Andy is back competing again.

Andy said: “The arthritis rapidly became a severe impairment not just to my fencing life, but to my life as a whole; from walking my dog to shopping, working or even just standing. Anything at all that required me to put weight on my knees left me in excruciating pain.”

Andy underwent surgery last year and had both operations completed within six weeks. “Everything went very smoothly with both operations; I even walked to the toilet on my own just hours after my operation which surprised my physiotherapist.

“The staff and support at Spire Liverpool Hospital was fantastic. Sometimes they would push me to exercise harder and sometimes tell me to slow things down a bit, but my confidence and mobility improved much more quickly than I expected.”

Since his operation 12 months ago, Andy has made fantastic progress and is now running for the bus, cycling and is also the proud owner of a bronze medal from a recent fencing competition. 

Andy said: “Thanks to Mr Santini and the staff at Spire Liverpool Hospital, I have been given a new lease of life and can now enjoy doing the things I love for longer. I may be fully bionic now but I can still show the youngsters a thing or two! I’m not planning any marathons or anything, but if you see someone running for a bus and wishing this could be you, well, it could be.”

Andy on the left

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