Retired athlete champions proactive bone and joint health – Community Focus

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“You can’t wait until you can barely walk to see someone.

As a retired athlete — whose career includes playing professional football with the Calgary Stampeders and Saskatchewan Roughriders from 1983 to 1994, and winning two Grey Cups in 1989 and 1992 — Ken Moore knows a thing or two about the importance of maintaining your health, particularly when it comes to bones and joints.

In between tackles, interceptions, fumbles and a touchdown or two, the continued stress of high-level sports took a toll on Ken’s body. Overtime, he developed conditions in his knees and shoulders that would ultimately lead to his seeking out medical support and undergoing multiple surgeries. Combine his history of injuries and physically demanding career with the effects of aging, and it’s not hard to imagine his conditions worsened over time. In addition to recurring knee and shoulder challenges, Ken developed arthritis that would cause swelling and pain in his joints. By the time he saw a professional, Ken’s list of conditions included:

  • Damaged knee ligaments
  • Recurring shoulder dislocations
  • Displaced shoulder bone fragments
  • Arthritis in knees and shoulders

Further, Ken understood that he now faced bigger challenges, beyond his immediate conditions, including:

  • Facing the realities of aging
  • Learning to adapt and manage the condition
  • Understanding the condition will change over time

It may sound bad, but there is a silver lining to the story.

Redefining normal

By virtue of his job, Ken had first-hand exposure to the importance of maintaining good health, and how addressing and managing conditions head-on would be a critical factor in his long-term health and quality of life.

It’s not about getting back to normal, it’s about defining what your new normal is.”

Ken began to proactively work with health care professionals. His goal was to manage pain and discomfort, and to be engaged in the process of understanding the science behind his conditions so that he could maintain his quality of life. Backed by research from the Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute, Ken was able to develop a personalized recovery strategy and practical tactics to help navigate through the system effectively and efficiently.

Today, he may not be as avid a runner as he used to be, but Ken enjoys a relatively pain-free, high-quality life and continues to be physically active. He also understands that his condition may change over time, but feels confident he can adapt, make the necessary changes and continue to enjoy life without much disruption. Best of all, he knows that the team at the Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute are on the cutting-edge of research, ready to share when he needs it.

Ken’s top take-aways for optimal bone and joint health:

  • Proactively working with health care professionals
  • Modifying activity and fitness regimens
  • Recognizing the risk factors and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Educating yourself on the science behind bone and joint conditions
  • Working with your supporters to understand how to access professionals and navigate the healthcare system
  • Considering the long-term and be open to change

There is a significant information gap about bone and joint health in Alberta; MAP to MOTION is our chance to fill this gap. With support from our partners, MAP to MOTION will link information from all the different bone and joint services that Albertan patients need, acting as a central hub of data for bone and joint knowledge. By capturing and analyzing the data, healthcare providers can develop more personalized, more effective treatment plans that support the overall wellbeing of patients like Ken.

The first of its kind in the world, MAP to MOTION partners with researchers to provide clear and comprehensive information to healthcare providers as they work to create innovative solutions to improved bone and joint patient care.