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The class aimed to raise awareness of knee health, with doctors saying regular exercise can help save them from long-term pain and improve physical function

Supplied photos

Supplied photos

Published: Wed 16 Nov 2022, 1:01 PM

Last updated: Wed 16 Nov 2022, 3:21 PM

It was a rare and incredible sight at the DP World Kite Beach Fitness Village on Sunday as a special group of people took part in a fitness session this weekend. Over 200 knee surgery warriors joined a dedicated fitness class held at Etisalat By E& Main Stage.

Residents with mobility support and crutches all made their way to the Village to shed light on issues they had been facing for a while. While some residents were in the advanced stage of knee deterioration, others with a replaced knee participated in the session to raise awareness on maximising knee health as early as possible.

Emirati Mohammed Ali Abdullah, whose right knee was replaced a few months ago after it began to deteriorate, came to the session along with his daughter Mariam. “It was an overwhelming session. My father was very happy to have taken part, and will continue with the exercises taught at the event,” said Mariam, who supported her father as he participated in the exercise.

There are no beaches and fitness venues near their residence, Mariam added, making this event even more special as it “helped [her] father understand and propagate the importance of having strong knees. We are delighted to be a part of this noble initiative.”

Participants of the fitness session were engaging in the Let’s Walk again initiative, launched by Dr Azam Khan, fondly known as Dr Knee by his peers, who currently works as a knee replacement surgeon at Prime Hospital. The initiative aims to generate awareness for Knee Osteoarthritis – a condition affecting much of the UAE population.

The participants, aged from 10-80 years old, came together to show their commitment to the cause and to demonstrate the positive role of regular physical activity for Osteoarthritis in decreasing pain and improving physical function.

Dr Knee added that there are several awareness campaigns that cover various diseases and disorders, but few on knee health. “Knee health is something that should be given a lot of importance as [deteriorating knee health] can keep you paralysed [just] from daily tasks. There is a treatment for this – but that should be the last option for any individual.”

“It doesn’t take much effort to take care of your knees”, he added. “Regular exercise can help you save them. This initiative aims to generate awareness about not letting the knees deteriorate, causing osteoarthritis or the wear and tear of knee joints.”

Another participant, 70-year-old British expat Leonard Eric, joined the session along with his wife. “I had my knee replaced a few years ago, and it was really a tough time for me. I am here to raise awareness about the disease and impress upon people the importance of preserving their naturally gifted knees,” said Eric.

“It was an enlightening session for me as well as my wife. I urge young people to stay physically active [and] save their knees [before old age], and to spread the message of knee health which is not given importance in today’s world.”

Dr Knee has been raising awareness regarding knee health worldwide, and has conducted free surgeries for knee osteoarthritis patients in many countries. He has also taken a patient to the Mount Everest base camp, and has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to promote the importance of knee health.