I am living my dream!

Duane Knight, Patient

Duane at the 2019 Steelhead Ironman

For more than 30 years, I was a police officer. Getting in and out of the car took a toll on my body, especially my joints. Although I retired from the Battle Creek Police Department in 2011, I now work as a criminal investigator for the Calhoun County Prosecutor’s Office.

I have always enjoyed being active but I really wanted to get into doing triathlons. In 2017, I signed up for the half ironman in Raleigh, North Carolina. During the event, my hip would not stop hurting. I finished the event – limping. Afterwards, I pursued opinions from two doctors who both indicated it was my sciatic nerve. I wasn’t satisfied with those opinions so I went to see Dr. Joseph Burkhardt at Bronson Orthopedic Specialists in Battle Creek. Dr. Burkhardt examined me and said it was my hip and that I would be a good candidate for hip resurfacing surgery. I agreed to the surgery.

Even though I was having hip resurfacing, the team at Bronson Battle Creek suggested that it would be good for me to attend the joint replacement class prior to surgery. I found this class to be very helpful to know what to expect and how to prepare for recovery afterwards. I had surgery in November 2017. After surgery, many patients go through a structured physical therapy program but in my case, since I am pretty motivated and active, I was able to do the exercises on my own.

Dr. Burkhardt knew that my aspirations were to continue to participate in ironman competitions. In order to have a full recovery, he said I had to take one year off. A year and a day later, I started running. In 2018, I signed up for a half ironman as a team with me doing the swim, my daughter-in-law did the run and my future son-in-law did the bike.

I just completed the 2019 Steelhead Half Ironman and felt great! I now have my sights set on doing a full Ironman in Tempe Arizona this November. I listen to my body. I don’t push it. I’m there to finish and don’t care where I place in the events. I just want to place within the time allocated for the finishers.

I can’t say enough good things about Dr. Burkhardt. He’s in it for the betterment of his patients. Dr. Burkhardt told me to listen to my body, a statement I take seriously.