11-year-old, Harri, judo injury
Consultant: Prof Adrian Wilson
Knee sports injuries and trauma
An 11 year old’s knee ligament is reconstructed using his dad’s hamstring tissue for the first time.
Harri first came to see Adrian after he dislocated his knee playing judo, aged 9. The first route is always to try physiotherapy and a brace in these cases, however this is so restrictive in such a young boy and made Harri unable to play with his friends as a normal 9 or 10 year old would do.
After a 2 year period of monitoring the situation, Adrian discussed the possibility of using Harri’s dad’s hamstring to reconstruct the PCL ligament in Harri’s knee. Adrian explains:
“Usually PCL injuries heal up well without surgery, and one would expect this to be even more so in a child. However, in this particular instance the lad had suffered a very nasty knee dislocation and he was left with a very unstable knee”.
PCL reconstruction is already a challenging operation on adults, however the size of the instruments involved and the complexity of the operation means it had not been carried out in such a young patient.
“When it came to operating on Harri’s thigh bone, I had to use a freehand technique rather than the normal guides that we normally for surgery, which were too big”.
Harri had to wear a knee brace for the first 2 months after surgery then was walking normally in no time at all. Harri’s mum, Suzanne Jones, explains the difference the operation has made to Harri’s life:
“It has been amazing, Harri has a new lease of life and whilst he is still unable to play contact sports, he can do everything else a boy of his age is able to do. It’s wonderful to see him so happy again.”
Adrian concludes:“I was very happy with the result and when the graft went in, the knee felt beautifully stable and I was delighted with the outcome that we achieved. Harri should have no issues with his knee going forward, but I will be taking long leg x-rays until he is fully grown and continue to monitor him”.