May 19, 2022 by Bethany Rundell
Senior Olympian Competing Again With Pain-Free Knees After Treatment at Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute
David Host, a retired teacher who became a “senior Olympian,” will turn 70 this year. A standout example of fitness defying age, Mr. Host displays top athletic form as he runs before the javelin throw, or winds up for the unleashing of a discus.
In 2017, he won the senior decathlon in Alabama at the biennial competition for men and women, 50 and over, organized by the National Senior Olympics Organization. The ten-event decathlon is synonymous with the “greatest athlete” title at the traditional Olympics.
“I went to the senior decathlon in 2017, and won it,” recalls Mr. Host. “Finished off that year and made All-American in five events. And then all of a sudden, in January 2018, my knees said: You know what? You’re not doing this anymore.”
(Watch video now: Hear from patient David Host and Frank Garcia, PA-C, of the Arthritis Clinic at Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute. Video by Alcyene Almeida Rodrigues.)
Of course, he’s still competing, despite what his knees told him. However, before his treatment at Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute, part of Baptist Health, he dealt with constant pain. “Competing or not, I was constantly in pain, just walking,” he said. “Anything where I had to bend my knee would hurt.”
Frank Garcia, PA-C, of the Institute’s Arthritis Clinic, said Mr. Host’s treatment included modification of exercise activities, continuation of stretching exercises, and intra-articular corticosteroid injection, which is a shot that’s placed directly into a joint to relieve pain.
The corticosteroid injection “provided a significant relief to his symptoms,” explains Dr. Garcia. “Mr. Host is a very interesting case. He exercises five times a week and he is involved in track and field, even at his age. He came to my clinic for evaluation of bilateral knees. He has been experiencing debilitating pain and restriction of motion over the past three years.”
Mr. Host was thrilled at how fast his pain was relieved. “He gave me a shot that afternoon. I knew that evening that it was already working,” said Mr. Host. “It was like, ‘Wow, is this what it’s like? Not to feel pain?’ Because it felt great.”
A week later, he resumed his track and field competition. “By my third jump, I’d already done a foot further than I had at before,” recalls Mr. Host. “I already was a foot above, and made All American … It felt that good; it didn’t hurt one bit. And it was like I was gliding. And I thought: ‘Wow, this is fantastic.’ “