When his friends learned Peter needed a double hip replacement at the age of 55, they were surprised. Not only is Peter an aviation operator, a ‘bush pilot’ flying from Queenstown through Milford Sound and the remote areas of Fjordland National Park, he has surfed all his life and has been riding motorbikes, on and off road, for 30 years.
However, Peter was experiencing pain in his hips all the time. During a trip to Noosa, he felt severe pain while sitting on a surfboard and when he returned home to Queenstown he was told that his hips degenerated to the point that he needed both replaced.
Although he’d reached the point where he could no longer lift his leg comfortably over his motorcycle, he had kept putting it down to other things – such as a pulled muscle that could be treated by massage or physio.
“I had figured I was going to be Peter Pan for the rest of my life,” he says.
Peter didn’t see any reason not to do surgery. “Given my active lifestyle, it was no brainer for me deciding to proceed. I felt it was very likely I would have a good outcome, so that made me feel more confident.“
Peter had one hip replaced in 2008, and the second replaced nine months later. The surgeon had recommended operating on the more urgent hip first, but by the time Peter fully recovered from the first procedure, he knew he had to have the other one done.
He says he wouldn’t have any hesitation if it had been recommended that both be replaced at the same time.
“I didn’t see rehabilitation as a difficult job,” he says. “I worked on the exercises they gave me in hospital and I felt I was pain free from around 3 months.
“Now I can now surf and ride my motorbike again. However, I have been reminded that if I broke a leg falling off my bike this would have implications for my recovery. So I’m taking it just a little bit easier these days!“