Tuesday 12 October 2021


Today is World Arthritis Day. Held every year on 12 October WAD aims to raise awareness globally of the existence and impact of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. 

In 2016 I was diagnosed with bilateral acetabular dysplasia and osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease. There is no cure.
The last year for me has undoubtedly been my most difficult yet, in terms of managing symptoms. I've struggled with mobility and pain to the point that I decided a few months ago to undergo joint replacement surgery, something I never wanted to have. My operation is in two weeks.

Getting strong for surgery

NHS waiting times for joint replacement surgery are horrendous, with some patients having to wait up to two years for surgery. I, like many others, have gone down the private route for treatment because these timescales are totally unacceptable.

Also totally unacceptable is being forced to make the choice between paying private and the NHS - I cannot bear to think what my arthritis would be like if I had to wait two years for surgery. The BBC's Panorama recently aired an excellent exposé on the crisis.

I want to send out a message today to everyone struggling with arthritis. You are not alone or forgotten. You are a warrior with a voice that needs to be heard. Keep up the fight 👊

  •  If you suffer from arthritis and/or another MSK disease and need help,  or just someone to talk to, contact Versus Arthritis. VA are an incredible charity. Caring and understanding, they offer a wealth of resources to help those struggling to cope, as well as opportunities to get involved in their many research and campaigning activities.
  • The BBC Panorama programme is available to watch here until September 2022.

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