Liam Gallagher, you won’t live forever

THE thing that brought me to tears after my arthritis diagnosis was when my doctor looked me in the eye and said, “The only football you will play in the future is running football.”

I’d seen videos of retirees hobbling at a snail’s pace through gymnasiums pretending to enjoy their kicks, and the idea of ​​joining their arthritic ranks in slow motion filled me with dread.

Nick McGrath was told he had osteoarthritis before his 50th birthday


Nick McGrath was told he had osteoarthritis before his 50th birthdayCredit: NICK McGRATH
Nick decided to have hip surgery


Nick decided to have hip surgeryCredit: NICK McGRATH

I had just turned 50. Two years earlier I had completed my second triathlon. I would run marathons. I had played five-a-side football for decades and coached a children’s team. Was that it? Was my future a steady descent into a wretched immobility?

If I had ignored my degenerative osteoarthritis—which wasn’t the groin strain I was hoping my physical therapist would diagnose—then yes, the future would have become progressively more painful and inactive, and I might have been confined to a wheelchair.

Which apparently is liam gallagher‘s preference.

The 49-year-old Oasis frontman told MoJo magazine: “I won’t crunch it up if my hip cracks, thanks. I’d rather be in a wheelchair with (fiancé) Debbie (Gwyther) pushing me around like Little Britain.”

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Granted, it was just my left hip that was giving me trouble, rather than both being “f***”.ed,” as Liam says.

Turning down a total hip replacement—and continuing to be unable to tie my shoelaces, cut my toenails, run, play soccer, get in a car, or even walk without pain—was not an option for me.

Netflix back catalog I don’t need to maintain the super-cool image of a quirky Britpop icon, but I have teenage kids – Art, 13, and Aoife, 16 – who reminded me more than happily, “Hip surgery is normal for retirees, isn’t it? Father?”

The most common age group for the procedure is between 75 and 79 – with 186 men in 100,000 and 271 women in 100,000 in this group having had the surgery in the past year, compared to just 28 men and women between the ages of 45 and 49 years.

My advisor raised an eyebrow when he checked my date of birth. But I’d rather be mobile – at least until I have to replace it in about 20 years – than be confined to a wheelchair, just because of a perceived stigma. Liam, who uses Deep Heat cream and herbal sleeping pills to manage his pain, also has the autoimmune condition Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and fears hip surgery could kill him – although the risk is certainly less than the chance of an Oasis reunion.

Professor Max Fehily, Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon at Spire Manchester Hospital, says: “The risk of dying after hip replacement is around 1% in all age groups, but it is significantly lower in the younger population than in older patients who may have other conditions such as heart or kidney disease.

Overall, the risks of surgery are about four to five percent and include infection of the new hip, blood clots in the legs or lungs, nerve damage, dislocation of the new hip, fracture of the femur or pelvis, and the need to redo the replacement and medical complications such as heart attacks and strokes – but these mainly occur in older people.

“However, these risks need to be weighed against the risks of not having surgery, such as: E.g. chronic pain, reduced fitness and all the mental health effects of not being active.”

An MRI scan diagnosed my arthritis last June and in February this year I was in the operating room at the Gateway Surgical Center in Newham, East London, waiting for the general anesthetic to kick in.

My consultant tried to persuade me to go for local anesthetic, but the prospect of hearing a surgeon saw a hole in my hip before replacing it with a shiny new one was so appealing as if I were being repeated listen to one of Oasis’ later albums.

Ninety minutes later I was back in the ward full of pain relief with a new ceramic femur, plastic shells replacing my withered cartilage and 21 metal staples holding my wound shut.

Granted, my left flank was like a rotten roast pork for 48 hours, and the staples could have graced a slasher movie, but the industrial-strength painkillers meant the first 36 hours passed in a largely pain-free haze. By the second day I had given up my Zimmer frame and after another 12 hours of slouching around the ward on crutches, I was discharged to continue my rehab at home.

Since I live alone — I sent my Jack Russell off to a friend for a fortnight — no one close to me had to put up with my groans. So I thought it was only fair that I share my grisly post-operative snaps on WhatsApp – to everyone’s disgust.

Then, working through Netflix’s back catalog, I fell into a hodgepodge of drugs that probably would have blown even Liam and his brother Noel during their Oasis heyday. Painkillers to numb the painful sore, anticoagulants to stop potential deep vein thrombosis, anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling, antibiotics to prevent infection — and the all-important stool softeners.

I also had a bunch of not-so-sexy mobility accessories. A sock aid to put on my socks. A litter collector for lifting objects – and a bathroom liberty stick, or bottom buddy, which is essentially a sponge on a stick designed to help you reach those parts of your body that are temporarily inaccessible from surgery.

Badminton With Kids My confidence and bowel movements weren’t great for those first few days, but the rock bottom came two weeks later when Satan – aka the district nurse – came to remove my staples.

My pain threshold is somewhere between not there and “Get off me!” – and after an hour of failing to persuade myself to let her pull the metal spikes out of my leg before it went septic, I sent for it poor Lucifer away.

Convinced that I would persuade the ER to give me a local anesthetic before torturing myself, I went to Whipps Cross Hospital in Leytonstone, East London, where a nurse with the bedside manner of the world’s most relaxed pilot somehow convinced me that anesthetic-free would be fine and would gently exorcise my staples in less time than it took me to mutter, “I’m such a baby!”

Six weeks and dozens of hours of daily physical therapy later, the healed cramps and scars are a distant memory. Such is my bounty of body hair, by the time midsummer comes any remaining scars will be camouflaged.

I’m not yet jumping across a tennis court like two-time Wimbledon tennis champion Andy Murray, who underwent hip replacement surgery in 2018, but compared to my massively impaired movement before the surgery, the transformation is significant.

Before the surgery, I couldn’t kick a football properly for nine months. The last time I rode anything other than the faucet was last summer. Racquet sports or other lunging was out of the question.
A month before the surgery I had to fork out 38 pounds to have my toenails trimmed – my kids refused, although I reminded them I had been wiping their behinds for years – and to maneuver myself in and out of a car, felt like I wasn’t in limbo.

Even sleeping had become a nightmare. Any pressure on my left hip would wake me up. After the surgery it’s a different story. Trimming my toenails is easy. My sock-aid and bottom mate are history – and for the past three weeks I’ve been playing badminton, lunges and all with my kids with no ill effects.

I also ran 5k this week and I’m probably three or four weeks away from playing 5v5 – and I definitely won’t be running.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that Liam refuses to take the sensible option – he always has.

“I think I’d rather just have pain,” is his typically contrarian response to the prospect of an easier life. “Which of course is ridiculous. But it’s the stigma of saying you’ve replaced your hips.”

What’s next for Liam is likely less mobility and more pain. With the millions he has in the bank, he could have a new hip in a week and be walking again on Hampstead Heath, near his home in north-west London, by his 50th birthday in September.

Whichever path he chooses, he won’t live forever—but he might increase his chances of staying hip a little longer.

Weeks and dozens of hours of daily physical therapy later and the now healed cramps and scars are a distant memory, Nick writes


Weeks and dozens of hours of daily physical therapy later and the now healed cramps and scars are a distant memory, Nick writesCredit: NICK McGRATH
With the millions he has in the bank, Liam could have a new hip in a week and be back walking on Hampstead Heath by the time he is 50


With the millions he has in the bank, Liam could have a new hip in a week and be back walking on Hampstead Heath by the time he is 50Photo credit: Getty

signs and symptoms

According to Professor Max, around 100,000 hip operations are performed with “very high success” every year.

He says: “Normally I would always try to treat a person’s condition without replacement, but when physical therapy, steroid injections and activity modification are not enough, sometimes replacement is the best option.

“The warning signs to look out for would be patients with groin, buttock and leg pain, night pain and increasing stiffness.

“This can make it difficult to put on shoes and socks and can cause the patient to limp when walking any distance.

“But most patients who have total hip replacements will regain a very good range of motion, allowing them to engage in multiple activities such as sports, skiing, fitness, yoga, etc.”

When a patient is afraid of feeling stigmatized, Prof. Max starts by talking to them about their concerns.

He adds: “I explain the surgery and recovery, talk to them about the pros and cons and tell them the real benefits they can expect afterwards.

“I would explain the measures we are taking to reduce the risks, such as B. the use of robotic surgery to achieve greater precision.

“Occasionally we introduce patients to like people who have had a surrogate so they can hear from patients who have been through this and whose lives have changed for the better.” Liam Gallagher, you won’t live forever

Fry Electronics Team

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