Five years ago, however, Anthony discovered his high energy lifestyle was taking a heavy toll on his knee.
“It felt like it was going to give way whenever I was doing anything,” he explains. “Cycling, gardening, climbing, I never stopped doing them – but I was really suffering for it afterwards.”
Over the course of the following two years a combination of over the counter anti-inflammatories and the occasional cortisone injection from his GP kept Anthony on the road and rockface, but he was fighting a losing battle.
As the pain became unbearable, Anthony’s GP referred him to knee surgeon Jim Newman.
“I’ve been putting up with pain for two years – another few weeks won’t bother me”
“Mr Newman explained the problem was osteoarthritis,” says Anthony, recalling the consultation. “He told me about the total knee replacement – he carefully explained what would happen and even showed me the implant (I said, ‘I’ll never be able to climb with that inside me!’).
“I had the op at Spire Methley Park Hospital. I came out of hospital and was on crutches for a day or two. Then I went onto a walking stick for another couple of days. Then I did without. I did the physio I was told to do (and extra).
“It was painful for a few days. But you have to take a bit of pain if you want to make a full recovery. I thought ‘I’ve been putting up with pain for two years – another few weeks won’t bother me’.”
“I was astonished how good the knee was. I had no pain whatsoever”