Routine changes saved man from knee replacement

John Murphree needed knee replacement but was over the weight limit for surgery candidacy.
John Murphree needed knee replacement but was over the weight limit for surgery candidacy.

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - Every now and then, you hear a weight loss story that seems impossible. So is the case with the story of a man who needed knee replacement surgery before – but not after – weight loss.

A little more than a year ago, John Murphree was having problems walking, so he went to the doctor.

"They did their MRIs and came back and said 'We got bad news and bad news.' I said, 'What's that?' He said, 'Well, the bad news is you're going to have to have a complete knee replacement; and the worse news is you are not a candidate,'" he recalled.

Doctors said he was 50 pounds too heavy to be considered for the surgery. He went to certified strength and conditioning coach Conley Duncan, who told him lifestyle changes were in order.

"'We're going to have to change your diet and we're going to have to work out on a regular basis," Murphree recalled. "I said I am willing to work."

"We established a base line; we talked about why we're doing certain exercises and the value and the benefits," Duncan added.

"I would work out two days a week with him, one-on-one, and then I would join one of his other classes in the mornings for two days a week," said Murphree.

"We put him on a total body workout," said Duncan. "We worked upper body, lower body, chest and back."

Murphree said that after a year, he had shed just over 60 pounds.

"The more weight I lost, the more exercise I did and the more muscle tone that I got around my knee, the better it felt," he said.

For now, no surgery is needed. Coach and patient alike attribute Murphree's success to mental as well as physical conditioning. They said it's about focusing on meeting and then exceeding your personal goals.

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