Diana and Stephen Snelling do everything together. Including knee surgery, on their left knees, on the same day.
The pair are childhood sweethearts and neighbours who went to the same junior school. They lost touch during senior school but reconnected afterwards, starting a lifelong of being by each other’s side.
In July last year, the pair had knee surgery at St John of God Murdoch. They had contemplated having it months apart, until their surgeon Gerald Lim suggested they have it on the same day.
Stephen (76) was the first to go into surgery and said it had been successful for them.
“We had both suffered for a number of years,” he said.
“My knee was clicking and I needed a walking stick. I had terrific pain, but I’m looking forward to being able to get back to an active lifestyle.”
For Diana (78) making the decision of knee replacement surgery was a chance to get back to living a full life, including enjoying nature and holidays.
“Before surgery we were hesitant to book holidays because we didn’t know if we would be ok or what was going to happen,” she said.
“There were steps at our new house leading down to the jetty and I couldn’t get down them. At the local supermarket, I would not be able to walk down one aisle without needing to sit down. Now, I’m hopeful that I can get back to those normal, everyday activities without trouble.
For the couple, having surgery on the same day ended up being very convenient.
“We had thought about Stephen going first and having his surgery, then me six months later,” Diana said.
“But as I don’t drive and we didn’t know exactly how well we would recover, we thought it could possibly be a whole year of recovery. Dr Lim’s suggestion of going straight to rehabilitation afterwards worked out really well and being able to use the walk to Stephen’s room as part of my rehab has been a good incentive.
Stephen said he was looking forward to returning to one of his old hobbies.
“About the only thing we don’t do together is cycle,” he said.
“I would like to get back on the bike and out into the garden more too.”
Now, the pair are focussed on their next holiday to Cairns later this year with family.
Diana said of her surgery experience; “I put it off for 10 years but when you wear out the cartilage and it is just bone on bone it gets pretty uncomfortable.
“We’ve had a few procedures each here at Murdoch and the care and facilities are fantastic.”
St John of God Murdoch is a growing technological hub, with advanced orthopaedic equipment including the Mako and Navio systems that provide robotic-assisted orthopaedic surgery options.
For more information about orthopaedic surgery at our Hospital, visit http://www.sjog.org.au