Health & wellbeing

Under the knife: Seven celebrities whose joint surgeries gave them a new lease of life

03 Oct 2023 | Written by Nurul Ahad

Male tennis player wearing a white t shirt, black shorts and a white baseball cap. Player is returning a volley on a blue tennis court. This article was authored by Mr. Nurul Ahad, Clinical Director of Orthopaedic Surgery for Practice Plus Group. With over 15 years of experience in orthopaedic surgery, he is a meticulous, patient-focused surgeon with a proven track record for delivering an excellent quality of service.

Many well-known individuals have opted for knee and hip surgeries to help them say goodbye to pain and discomfort and continue pursuing their passions. Athletes have reclaimed their spots on the field (and on the screen), musicians have continued to delight audiences and actors have stepped back onto the stage.

While it’s true that joint replacement patients do tend to be older, people of all ages are increasingly seeing it as a viable treatment option to help them put an end to joint pain and discomfort. Join us as we take a look at some famous faces you might not realise have gone under the knife.

Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda has released several fitness programmes over the last few decades – she may be more well-known for these than for her acting roles. Her total knee replacement at the age of 71 (along with a double hip replacement!) hasn’t kept her from the Pilates studio either; since her operation in 2008, she has released several fitness videos, inspiring people to keep active at home.

Tiger Woods

Arguably the most famous golfer – and one of the most famous sportsmen – of all time, Tiger Woods has suffered more than his fair share of injuries. From strained elbows to shoulder injuries, Tiger has managed to successfully bounce back from all of them – usually marking his recovery with a golfing triumph! In 2007, at the age of 32, he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee, necessitating knee replacement surgery. He underwent the procedure just a week after winning the 2008 US Open and has since added to his extensive silverware.

Billy Joel

Billy Joel faced a double whammy of hip troubles after years of lively performances. The legendary ‘Piano Man’ had to take a three-year break due to the pain in his joints. He decided to take the plunge into surgery, ensuring he could return to the stage, unburdened by pain and continue delivering his iconic performances. During an interview with US TV host Howard Stern, he japed “I went all-in with a double hip replacement, so now I’m twice as hip as before!”

Elizabeth Taylor

The iconic Hollywood actress, known for her captivating performances and humanitarian work, faced her own share of joint challenges. In 1990, she underwent a successful hip replacement surgery. Taylor, who had a history of scoliosis, found herself struggling with debilitating hip pain. The surgery not only relieved her pain but allowed her to continue her humanitarian work.

Steve Carell

This comedic actor, renowned for his role in ‘The Office (US)’, revealed that he had undergone double hip replacement surgery at the age of 51. Carell had been living with persistent pain resulting from a hockey injury sustained in his younger years.

Andy Murray

Tennis sensation Andy Murray is no stranger to pushing his body to the limits. After years of competition and multiple injuries, including hip problems, Murray opted for a hip resurfacing surgery that breathed new life into his career. This remarkable comeback story saw him return to competitive tennis, defying the odds and inspiring fans worldwide.

David Prowse

Perhaps most well-known for his stint as the man behind Darth Vader’s iconic black suit and mask, David Prowse was also a decorated weightlifter. He won three British weightlifting championships before becoming a personal trainer, where his star-studded client list featured Hollywood heavyweights such as Superman himself, Christopher Reeve. After suffering from long-term knee pain, Prowse finally went under the knife at the age of 74 and, following his successful operation, continued to attend Star Wars conventions around the world.

These individuals remind us that knee and hip replacements are more than just medical procedures; they can offer second chances at a pain-free, active life. Whilst the prospect of going under the knife can be daunting, these stories demonstrate the life-changing impacts these surgeries can make at any stage of your life.

A note from The Joy Club: This article was provided by Mr. Nurul Ahad and the Practice Plus Group. We know that health and wellbeing is extremely important to our members and that you would like to see more health-focused content within The Joy Club community. That’s why we are very excited to partner with Practice Plus Group – an outstanding healthcare provider – to bring you high-quality, expert-led health content.

What’s more, Practice Plus Group is offering members of The Joy Club a specially discounted consultation, giving you the opportunity to explore a health condition with one of Practice Plus Group’s experienced consultants, should you so wish.

An initial appointment with Practice Plus Group normally costs £95, but members of The Joy Club can benefit from a first-class consultation – including blood tests, swabs and x-rays (as required) – for a flat fee of just £50, saving £45.

Read on to find out more about how the consultation works, what conditions Practice Plus Group can help you with, how to make your booking and more.

What does the consultation involve?

The Practice Plus Group consultation includes your initial consultation with a surgeon, a pre-operative nurse assessment (if needed) and any required blood tests, swabs and x-rays.

How much does the consultation cost?

A consultation with Practice Plus Group normally costs £95, but thanks to our special discount, members of The Joy Club pay just £50, saving £45. There is no additional cost for any blood tests, swabs or x-rays conducted as part of the consultation. The only additional costs you may incur are those for diagnostic imaging (other than x-ray), if required. Otherwise, everything is included in the flat fee of £50.

Are consultations held online or in person?

All consultations take place face-to-face.

How much time should I allow for the consultation?

The initial consultation with the surgeon should take between 20-30 minutes. Should you require any blood tests, x-rays or a pre-operative nurse assessment, you should allow up to 3-hours to cover everything in one visit.

Would there be any follow-up consultations and, if so, how many would there be and how much would they cost?

Should you wish to proceed with a surgical treatment with Practice Plus Group, follow-up consultations may be required. At this point, you will be given a quote for the full price of your treatment. Practice Plus Group’s treatment price includes any follow-up consultation costs, the surgery itself, anaesthetic, any overnight stays (if clinically appropriate), suitable follow ups, medication, equipment and physiotherapy, as required. There are no hidden extras – the price you are quoted for your treatment is the price you pay.

What health conditions can I explore with a Practice Plus Group consultant?

Practice Plus Group specialises in treatment of hip, knee and eye conditions, but offers a comprehensive range of affordable private medical treatments covering a wide variety of conditions. You can explore the full range of treatments that they offer here.

Can I request an expert in a particular field?

If you have a particular consultant you would like to see, please let Practice Plus Group know when making your enquiry and they will try their best to accommodate.

How do I book my specially discounted consultation?

To book your consultation, simply call Practice Plus Group on 03301 620 730, email them on PrivatePatient@practiceplusgroup.com or submit an enquiry via the online form on the Practice Plus Group website to receive a call back. Make sure to quote code JOY45, when prompted, in order to redeem your special discount.

Practice Plus Group is one of England’s largest independent providers of private, insured and NHS healthcare. They are passionate about what they do and believe that anyone should be able to access excellent care.

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