My name is Lawrence Groves and I am a headmaster at a school in Kent. I was a PE teacher for twenty happy years and played county and regional rugby for ten years having my last club game at 51 years of age.
Being a fly half I spent a great deal of my time practising kicking and took a lot of trauma to both knees. I was also a qualified BASI ski instructor and with years of adrenalin pumping skiing put a great deal of demand on my knee joints. After giving up rugby I took up tennis and currently play match tennis for Canterbury where I am also chairman.
My knees have always ached and I’ve lived with the pain for many years until I was walking the 87 mile Cumbrian Way with my son and experienced pain in my right knee like I’ve never previously encountered.
From that moment on my knee deteriorated to such an extent I struggled to climb stairs, walk a short distance and even drive, tennis was also completely out of the question and I was unable to join my friends skiing an annual trip that had been going for twenty years.
I was advised to see my GP and address the issue through the ‘choose and book’ system with Chan Jeer, Margate Hospital. After X-rays and an MRI, Chan Jeer confirmed that I had severe wear and tear on my right knee, and the cartilage was worn completely away with exposed bone and nerves creating the excruciating pain.
After an arthroscopy which didn’t improve my condition and a number of cortisone injections and sessions to remove fluid from my knee Chan Jeer advised that I should have the full knee replacement. I knew how invasive the operation was going to be and even though I was in pain, was reluctant to go ahead. Eventually the pain was so constant and intensive it was affecting my whole lifestyle and I reluctantly joined the waiting list for a full knee replacement.
The operation was everything I thought it was going to be in terms of pain and slow recovery but I was well prepared from advice given, to be fit and healthy going into the operation. Following the operation I took full advantage of a great physio and her exercise regime, the pain killers and the right balance of rest and exercise.
Fourteen months on and my life had changed for the better. I was back long distance walking the Dales Way with my son, playing match tennis and competing against my brother on the golf course. There is nothing I can’t do with my new knee and the jewel in the crown was to re-join my friends from Manchester on our annual ski trip to Austria where I outclassed them all with my own inimitable technique and style. So, it is a big thank you to Chan Jeer and his team, I am back in the corridors of the aged sporting warriors, and a happy man.