Seven-year-old Jago’s knee is almost back to normal following ACL reconstruction with Professor Adrian Wilson and Mr Raghbir Khakha

Jago needed a solution so he could continue to have a normal childhood and to prevent any further damage to his knee

Jago had a ruptured ACL from landing on a football awkwardly while jumping on a trampoline when he was 7 years old.

He screamed in pain immediately, had swelling to his knee and didn’t want to weight bear on his leg but slept well that night and put some weight on it 2 days later. He went for an X-ray and was diagnosed with a buckle fracture to his thigh bone, put in a brace and sent for an MRI. A month later following the MRI he was seen by a paediatric surgeon and following an examination of his knee diagnosed with a ruptured ACL. The consultant saw that his knee had a lot of movement forward and backwards over his thigh bone as suspected from the MRI results.

Jago’s parents were told he would have to give up all the sports he loved, tennis, football and any impact sports, and that he wouldn’t be able to join in with the usual activities a boy of his age and upwards would do. They were also told that it was likely his knee would give way and nothing could be done until he was 14 and fully grown. If the knee gave way too much, they may be forced to perform surgery earlier due to instability and further damage his knee.

They independently found Professor Wilson and saw from his website he had treated children Jago’s age successfully for ACL repair and reconstruction. He was also recommended by an adult knee surgeon who had treated a family member privately after she had been told nothing could be done with her knee.

Jago’s mum Isabelle says: “We felt Jago was in the best hands, Professor Wilson had reassured us of the procedure. We also felt the treatment had to be done so Jago could have a normal childhood and to prevent any further damage to his cartilage and knee causing even more problems.” 

Professor Wilson opted to perform an ACL reconstruction as he explains: “Jago underwent an ACL reconstruction under our care two months ago. Sadly, we didn’t get to him early enough and if we had, I think we would have been able to do an ACL repair as this is usually the case in small children. The surgery went very well, and we used hamstrings for the ligament reconstruction avoiding the growth plates. Technically, this was a challenging procedure but something that I have a good deal of expertise in and indeed helped with the design of the Flip Cutter guides which are used for this novel drilling system.”

Isabelle continues: “Jago’s recovery has been very quick, he has a stable knee which is almost back to normal. He can straighten and bend it to the same ability he could before the operation. The operation was all done through keyhole surgery, so he only has a few small scars. He is now back on his bike, walking, running and jumping about. He should be back to PE in a months’ time and back to all sports within the year including his much-loved football.”

She gives this advice for parents with children with similar problems: “I would advise anyone who has been told nothing can be done to go and see Professor Wilson and do it straight away. If Jago had been treated quicker we could have repaired his ACL but because it had been over a month when we got a diagnosis the ligament had no blood supply. He therefore had to have ligament reconstruction using his hamstring. We felt the risk of Jago having worse knee issues for life if this operation was not done would be far worse than not getting it treated. Now he can hopefully enjoy all the activities a young boy will want to do. You can also get Professor Wilson’s team to look at the MRI scans or have them done so that you get a quicker diagnosis.”

She summarises: “Professor Wilson has changed our sons life, we cannot recommend him and his team highly enough. The whole process was efficient and professional but also very friendly. He is an excellent surgeon with a real passion for what he does. We felt that our son who is 7 and had a ruptured ACL was in the best possible hands. The communication about the treatment during the whole process helped put us at ease and has left us feeling confident about a positive recovery. Our son can now be included in normal sporting activities during his childhood because of Professor Wilson’s expertise.” 

Professor Wilson concludes: “Jago’s surgery went well and we used hamstrings for the ligament reconstruction avoiding the growth plates. I am delighted that two months down the line he is jumping, skipping and running on this knee completely pain-free. It is impressive how well young people can recover from these invasive procedures.”

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