Knee surgery gets Senior Olympics athlete back on the track

Cliff Dickman was competing in a track meet at Indiana University when something in his knee didn’t feel right. “I was doing the long jump and didn’t time the board correctly,” he remembered.  While sore joints are commonplace for athletes, Cliff isn’t like other athletes.  At the time, he was 83 years old, and competing in the Senior Olympics.

Dickman“I messed it up good,” Cliff recalls of his knee injury.  “But I just iced it and went on to do more events at the meet.”  Cliff has been participating in National Masters Association USA Track & Field events since 1992.  But after that knee injury, Cliff — a former Richmond mayor and retired business owner — feared his competition days were over.

“I hobbled around on that knee for two years,” Cliff explained. “It got better but just wasn’t going to make it.”  He participated in a national track and field event in Cleveland during this time, but competed in just in two events and finished a disappointing eighth in the 80-84 age bracket.  Cliff had gone from clearing the bar to struggling up the stairs.

In the summer of 2014, Cliff came to the Reid Orthopedic Center and met with orthopedic surgeon Chad Reed, D.O., who recommended a total knee replacement.

Cliff felt very comfortable with Dr. Reed. “We hit it off right away,” he said. “Afterward, Dr. Reed told me he didn’t go to the Colts game the day before my surgery because he wanted to be ready for me Monday morning,”

After a brief stay at Reid Health, Cliff had eight weeks of outpatient therapy. He quickly returned to his active lifestyle, competing in another track and field meet just five months after the surgery. “I did real well and felt good,” Cliff exclaimed.  “I came in first in three events.”

Cliff relies on Reid Health to keep him in tip-top shape.  “I had to cancel a couple of meets this summer because I had pacemaker put in,” he said. “But now they’ve turned me loose!”

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