Katharine Barnes Rides to Shorten Wait Times

Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation

Katharine Barnes enjoys a challenge! Most recently she tested her fitness level by hiking and biking a minimum of three hours a day in Canmore and Banff, Alberta. “So what?” you say! Would you be hiking and biking three hours a day just four months after having a total hip replacement?

At 50 years of age Katharine received a total hip replacement to correct congenital hip dysplasia, an abnormal formation of the hip joint. It is believed that Katharine may have been born with the disorder, but a diagnosis wasn’t made until 2004. Prior to her hip replacement, Katharine did her best to work through her physical pain and disability by keeping active. “It was a real challenge. It was so easy to overdo it and then pay the price. I had no idea how awful I felt until after my surgery, when I felt wonderful!,” says Katharine.

Katharine believes her commitment to staying fit prior to surgery and doing the required exercises following surgery helped her achieve an excellent outcome. The day after her surgery she was up walking the halls of the hospital using only crutches. Three days later she returned home and six days later she returned to work part-time.

Her orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Steven MacDonald at London Health Sciences Centre, gave her the go ahead in February, just two months after her surgery, to spend a week in May in the mountains hiking and biking. She began preparing immediately by working with a personal trainer.

Katharine had hoped to participate in the local Hip Hip Hooray! event, but was unable to due to another commitment. That’s when she decided she would do a bike ride to support the Foundation. Katharine arrived in Alberta on May 8 to spend a week with her friend Carol who lives in Canmore. Each day they spent a minimum of three hours on the rough and hilly trails.

“I wanted to help raise money so that Ontarians won’t have long wait times for orthopaedic consultations and joint replacement surgery,” said Katharine. “Although there has been an infusion of money from the government, there is a shortage of orthopaedic surgeons. That’s just one of the issues affecting the wait times. Through my fundraising I hope to encourage orthopaedic surgeons to stay in Canada.”

Katharine raised $2,000 in support of the Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation.