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Hip replacement

Builder Norman Lane, 63, hasn’t stopped running since he had a double hip replacement. He talks about his operation and why he would advise anyone to do it.

Builder Norman Lane, 63, hasn't stopped running since he had a double hip replacement

"I used to be a keen footballer and ran around 80 miles a week until I started to have problems with my hips when I was around 40. The doctor diagnosed osteoarthritis.

"At first it wasn't too bad, but gradually things got so painful that I couldn't turn over in bed at night, let alone run. The surgeon said both my hips were 'shot' and suggested a double hip replacement, which I had done in 1998. 

"The operation lasted eight hours. The day after, it took me 20 minutes to walk to the end of the bed and back. It seemed impossible that I would ever run again, but I was determined. I didn't want to die with my new hips unused! 

"I was in hospital for a week. It was painful at first but I stopped taking painkillers after two days and the pain gradually went away over the course of about a month. My attitude was, 'It's only pain and it will get better'.

"After a month, I was riding a bike. After six months, I started to do some gentle running and very gradually built it up over the course of a year. After 18 months, I ran the Majorca marathon in 3 hours and 14 minutes, winning the international over-50 category. I did the New York and London marathons the next year and, three years ago, I ran from John O'Groats to Land's End, raising more than £25,000. It took me 28 days and my wife had to pull me off the road at the end. I just got fitter and fitter over the course of it. It's amazing what your body can do.

"There are some things I still can't do. I don't play football now and I would never jump off a scaffold. I run an average of 40 to 50 miles a week. I'm really pleased I had the operation and would advise anyone to go for it."

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