When I 'kneed' you! How couple helped each other on road back to fitness

25 August 2017

They might not be in training for a marathon but pensioners Brian and Barbara Longstaff are on the road to recovery after both having knee replacements carried out by the same surgeon, in the same orthopaedic centre of excellence, in the same hospital, just months apart.

“I’m back working in my beloved garden and Brian is back on the golf course and we’re more active than we have been for years,” said 76-year-old Barbara, of Marston Green.

And 78-year-old Brian, a retired painter and decorator, added: “It all worked out perfectly for us. Barbara had the knee operation first and I looked after her as she recovered, then, when she was back on her feet, I had my knee done and she did the same for me.

“As soon as we were both up and about then we worked together to get our fitness back – we’ve encouraged each other throughout and both our recoveries have been fantastic.

“We started with regular short walks but increased our mileage week by week. We have our wonderful lives back - we haven't trained for the marathon this year but maybe we can do that next year,” joked Barbara, who worked for many years as a hairdresser.

Both knee replacements were carried out at the orthopaedic centre at Spire Parkway Private Hospital by consultant orthopaedic surgeon Mr Jamie Arbuthnot, who said that having the surgery ‘in tandem’ was a great idea – particularly for older patients.

“Although they are nowadays commonplace, knee operations still take time to recover from and, with patients of Brian and Barbara’s age, it can sometimes be tough going through the training regime necessary to get the full benefit from the new knee. “However, when you’re ‘in it together’ you can encourage each other – it creates a team spirit and really can make getting fit again fun. I realise you can’t dictate when you will need a knee replacement so you could say Brian and Barbara were ‘lucky’ with their timings – but it certainly has made a difference to their recovery.”

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