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A Lady, 2 camels and a ‘miraculous hip’!

I am a trustee of the Royal Opera House where, apart from normal trustee duties, I also devise and produce performances to raise funds for them. I am also chairman of several Foundations and am involved with various small charities around the SaIisbury area. I also run a country house, complete with a menagerie of animals; one of which is a Bactrian camel called Therese. She is 13 years old and I ride her several times a week. She is quite the celebrity, having performed in front of the Queen and on various TV shows. Recently, she has been joined by Temujin, (another camel) and the two are due to appear in the Linbury Theatre (Royal Opera House) at the end of January. 

I have always been an active person, rushing around from place to place, but was never in any particular hurry, I was just moving at ‘my’ pace!  I ride horses and I practice Ashtanga yoga, which is very energetic and athletic. I was back to practising full yoga with extreme postures just six months after my operation. Apart from yoga, (which I practise 2-3 times a week,) I don't consciously exercise. I ride regularly and feed my animals when I am in the country (which is about 4 times a week). This requires a high level of physical activity. I am not a sports fanatic, but I do love playing tennis once in a while; my first game was three months post-op and I went skiing just six months after.

Looking back, the hip had been a problem for a few years, but I hadn’t realised what it was. I ignored it until January 2011, when my leg suddenly collapsed under me. I had an X-ray, which revealed just how badly damaged my hip was. I went to see Professor Cobb, who advised me to have a full hip replacement, but left it to me to decide when. 

My daughter was getting married in June and Prof Cobb had warned me my hip would deteriorate rapidly. He was right, very quickly the pain got worse and by April everything was a challenge - I gave up yoga, walking upstairs became something I dreaded and my animal feeding routine lost all its pleasure. I decided to postpone the operation until after the wedding, so endured constant pain for three months, then on the 14th July (2011) Professor Cobb gave me a ceramic total hip replacement. 

I was up and walking straight after the operation. By the hydrotherapy day; (day two or three), I didn’t feel the need to take my stick to the pool, although the nurse saw me and made me go back to my room to fetch it. I left hospital after four nights. Recovery was relatively easy and at two weeks, I had guests over for a dinner party and to stay for the weekend. None of them were aware that I had undergone surgery.

I had an excellent physiotherapist, Darren Norman and I believe that his regime and his belief in the importance of getting me in shape before the operation was a big factor in my quick recovery. One month after the operation, I was back with him again and he was a tremendous help. In January, six months post op, Prof Cobb asked me to have my gait measured at the MSk Lab and the team were extremely satisfied with the result. 

I am now pain free and can run just as I could before the pain started to restrict me. After two months, I was riding again; but after just five weeks I had already forgotten I had a new hip - it was so easy and comfortable. Unfortunately, my hip has been tested twice in the last year; on one occasion I was thrown from a bolting race horse and on another occasion, a horse tripped over and fell on me. In both cases my hip took a severe blow, but survived without any problems.

Professor Cobb gave me a new lease of life with this miraculous hip, for which I am most grateful.