Hip operation - Norman's story 

Builder Norman Lane had a double hip replacement when his osteoarthritis got so painful that he couldn't turn over in bed. He thought he'd never be able to run again, but now he runs more than 40 miles a week.

"I've always played football. I was very much a sporting person throughout my early years.

"But when I got to 35, 40 years old, that sort of time, I found that my hips became very stiff. My joints were very painful.

"I went to a surgeon and found, devastatingly, that I was suffering from arthritis in both hips. The symptoms were generally just sharp, shooting pains down both legs, in the joints; a lot of aching, especially on strenuous exercises.

"I found that I couldn't do the things at football that I wanted to, so I gave up football at the age of 41, and took up running instead.

"My surgeon kept a watch on things. When I was nearly 55 years old, he decided that the time was right to have my hips replaced.

"My biggest fear was that I would feel that I wasn't a whole person. It really was scary to have big chunks of metal in me, and that I wouldn't be myself.

"The surgeon reassured me that it would be OK. I had the operation on the promise that he would do both hips together if my body could withstand it. He subsequently did so, and very successfully.

"The operation took a little bit longer than we thought. It was just over eight hours, but it wasn't a problem. It was all under control.

"I came out of the operation. I have to say, I was in tremendous pain. I expected that, but the next day they got me out of bed. I didn't want to. Because they got me out of bed, I made them take me to the end of the bed and back, just to say I'd made some progress.

"But it was all systems go after that. The next day, they showed me the physio room, which was just outside our ward. I was in the hospital for just a week.

"The nurses were great. No problems, no complaints.

"It took me maybe 12 months to get over everything fully. I felt a bit tender in places, but it was a gradual recovery.

"I have a negative of the X-ray of my hip replacements. If anyone doubts me, or if I have a bad run, I pick up my X-ray and I stand up and look.

"I'm not a cripple, but that's me, and those joints are absolutely brilliant. I've always set goals all my life. Then I started running again. I had the idea of doing a run to say thank you to the National Health Service. So I set about raising £10,000, on a run from John o'Groats to Land's End.

"Beforehand, Mr McKinnon gave me another X-ray to check that the hips were OK. There was no sign of wear.

"We did the run –  more than 40 miles a day. It was established as a world record, because no one had done it before, which is a bit easier. We finished it in 28 days and got a lot of publicity for the arthritis cause. We raised over £25,000.

"I had another X-ray a month or so after. Dr McKinnon, the surgeon, couldn't believe that there was absolutely no sign of any wear or tear. He said that it had changed his way of thinking. So he now tells people to go out and exercise and use their joints.' 

Hip op: Norman's story

Builder Norman Lane, 63, had a double hip replacement when his osteoarthritis got so painful he couldn't turn over in bed. He thought he'd never be able to run again, but now runs over 40 miles a week

Media last reviewed: 08/07/2015

Next review due: 08/07/2017

Page last reviewed: 15/01/2015

Next review due: 15/01/2017