Patient Story - Arthritic Ankles

Image of patient, Mr John Orford beginning to move about on a walking frame following surgeryFollowing surgery on both ankles, a patient who has been able to continue with ambitious walks, including Ethiopia in 2013, has donated £1000 to The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (RJAH). Mr John Orford, a retired IT Manager from Shrewsbury, was so pleased to ‘get his life back’ he wanted to contribute to thank staff, especially Kenyon ward, at the specialist hospital.


John Orford, 67, serious walker for over 50 years, started trekking as a teenager in the Lake District peaks and later up the Munros in Scotland. For an eight year period from 2000, he and his wife Pam undertook expeditions across the globe - from the South American Andes, the African mountains and deserts, the Himalayas, Australia to northern Iceland. However in 2008, his arthritic ankles became too much and eventually he sought medical advice.


 In November 2011, RJAH Orthopaedic Consultant Mr Andrew Bing fused his right ankle to give relief from the joint pain, as his ankle had almost ceased up and the bone overgrowth had twisted his foot inwards. Nearly a year later, the same surgeon replaced his left ankle, which still moved but was painful until surgery relieved this.

Since his second operation in 2012, he has not looked back. John Orford worked hard on his rehabilitation and in July 2013 completed a 9 mile charity walk across the Morecambe Bay in 4 hours and then in October last year, he and his wife joined a group of friends on a walking trip in the Ethiopian lakes and mountains. He reflects that he waited too long before seeking help with his damaged ankles, advising people to use the specialist services available,  ”Since my operations at RJAH, I would now recommend anyone who experiences joint pain to act early and if offered to take treatment – it’s well worth it!”

On his hospital experience, John says, “"RJAH was friendly from the outset and I felt comfortable there. The staff are lovely, everything was explained to me and it happened as expected. I thought the standard of care was excellent."

Image of John and Pam Orford being able to actively enjoy the spectacular Ethiopian scenery in 2013 of the Blue Nile Tississat Falls

Now John is looking forward to their 2014 walking trip, commenting ”The big question now is where to go next? Whilst I have visited countries in six continents, it’s a big world out there. The shortlist is down to Botswana, China, Cambodia, New Zealand or Hawaii!”