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Updated: Jun 6, 2021

Former Birmingham City star Ricky Otto is looking forward to a ‘kickabout’ in a local five-a-side hall as he recovers from his second hip replacement operation in six years. Ricky retired from professional football in 2000 and is now a Pastor at the ARC (A Radical Church) Birmingham, based in Lozells.

“To be honest, I have been too busy to even think about football for a long time now, but for some reason, I’m itching to get out there and have a kickabout."

Ricky’s first hip replacement operation was carried out six years ago by Mr Trevor Lawrence, an orthopaedic consultant and Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull.

"It all went so well that as soon as I realised I needed a second replacement, I had no thoughts about seeing anyone other than Mr Lawrence – even though he is an Aston Villa fan.” joked Ricky.

“By this time, I was heavily involved in my pastoral work, so I had my sights set on an early return to work. Instead, just days after leaving the hospital, I was able to do bits of work on the email and telephone, but I was up and about with virtually no pain whatsoever within eight weeks. I’ve stuck to my physiotherapy routine and done plenty of exercise, so everything is going well. Now I’ve set myself a ‘target’ of late July when I hope to get out and play some ‘light duty’ football.”

Surgeon Mr Lawrence said Ricky’s target was ‘very achievable’ as long as he gets the okay from his physio first.

“I wouldn’t suggest full-contact football, but for someone who has kept themselves in good shape as Ricky has done, then a friendly kickabout shouldn’t be a problem. He would certainly be able to take part in non-contact sports such as tennis or golf with very little trouble – in fact, joint replacement patients are actually encouraged to exercise regularly to keep the muscles surrounding their joints in good condition.”

As for Ricky, he said:

“It may seem young to have two hip replacements at just over 50 years old, but when the pain in your hip is so bad, you can hardly sleep, never mind do exercise, then that is the time to consider surgery. I would advise anyone in a similar situation to the one I found myself in to visit their GP and get expert advice on what action they should take. I think they will find a new hip does wonders to improve their quality of life.”

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