Alex was playing on his trampoline in the garden when he got his knee stuck between the trampoline and the spring, which really hurt his knee. His parents took him to A & E a day later as they weren’t sure how serious it was. Alex was complaining about the pain, but as he’s usually quite brave, they couldn’t be certain if real damage had been done.
Following an X-ray and examination at A & E, they diagnosed a pulled a muscle around his kneecap or thigh, gave him crutches and he went back to school. As the pain didn’t improve, his parents took him back to A & E where they tried to manipulate his knee and thought it may be a sprain. After 5 days Alex’s knee was looking more swollen and his parents were worried, so they took him to a private GP in London. There he had an MRI, and they were told that Alex had fully torn his ACL.
The GP recommended a knee specialist who looked at Alex’s knee and suggested that an operation could damage the growth plates in his knee, so his parents were unsure about what to do. They started making enquiries and then came across Professor Adrian Wilson and Mr Raghbir Khakha online and went ahead and booked an appointment with Mr Khakha.
Following reviews of Alex’s MRI scans and a full examination, Mr Khakha and Professor Wilson carried out a full reconstruction of Alex’s ACL using a graft from his hamstring to repair the tendon in a 2+ hour operation.
Rehabilitation was key to Alex’s recovery as his mum, Chloe explains: “Alex had masses of physio starting the day after his operation and he also used a Physiolab cryotherapy device. It was really hard to watch as a mum as it was such hard work, but Alex is football obsessed and very determined so the desire to carry on made sure he did his exercises. He carried on physio for 7 months after the operation and started swimming first. Now, over a year since his accident, Alex is pretty much back to normal. He’s been playing football and he’s really happy to be back. He’s playing in matches again.”
Chloe puts the success of Alex’s recovery down to three things: “The operation was a great success thanks to Mr Khakha and Professor Wilson, Alex had a great physio (ex-Norwich City football club) and Alex himself worked so hard to get back to fitness.”
Her advice for other parents considering an ACL reconstruction for their child: “Every case is individual, but we’ve had a good experience, so my advice would be go for the operation, especially if your child wants to get back to sports and make sure they do the physio.”
She summarises her experience with Mr Khakha: “Mr Khakha couldn’t have been more kind, patient and generous with his time. He was very clear in his advice for Alex, which made it easy for him to believe in Mr Khakha. If you get on with your surgeon and trust them, it makes it so much easier. When we did have a problem, a wound got infected early on just before Christmas, Mr Khakha was so helpful and sorted it out – our experience couldn’t have been better.”
He says of the operation carried out by Mr Khakha and Professor Wilson: “They did an amazing job, and we were really lucky to have found them.”
Mr Khakha concludes: “I was so pleased to see the photos of Alex enjoying his holiday this summer, and more importantly, playing football! He’s worked so hard to get back to the sports he loves, and I wish him well in the future.”
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