Elisabeth, keen dancer, 29
Consultants: Dr Ronald van HeerwaardenMr Raghbir KhakhaProf Adrian Wilson
Knee osteotomy (realignment) surgery
Elisabeth charts her progress after life-changing bilateral double level tibial and femoral derotation osteotomies with Mr Ronald van Heerwaarden
Elisabeth had always had knee problems, but muscle strengthening exercises enabled her to live an active lifestyle regardless, and to enjoy her passion for dance.
A fall while dancing in 2019 meant she needed to be taken to A&E. A course of treatment and surgery were recommended, however she sought a second opinion and found Mr Raghbir Khakha and Orthopaedic Specialists online. By this stage she was on crutches and was struggling to walk.
At their first appointment, Mr Khakha immediately recognised rotational (miserable) malalignment, which is when there is abnormal rotation of the femur, the tibia or both the femur and tibia. This is a common cause of severe anterior knee pain and instability, yet it is often missed and is poorly understood.
Mr Khakha referred Elisabeth to his colleague Mr Ronald van Heerwaarden at the London Knee Osteotomy Centre who specialises in derotational osteotomy surgery, which was required to reposition her legs correctly. She needed a double level derotation as both her femur and tibia needed to be realigned. Mr van Heerwaarden also performed a tibial tubercle osteotomy at the same time, to improve the alignment of the patella.
Elisabeth had surgery to each leg separately. Her right leg, which was injured in the fall, also required an MPFL reconstruction. She has documented what it was like to go through the surgery on her personal website:
In the videos below Elisabeth talks about her progress, covering the injury, surgery and her successful recovery. She talks about what the process was like for her, hitting milestones such as swimming again and walking 4km without experiencing any pain post-surgery, and feeling properly stable on her feet for the first time ever.
Elisabeth explains her long-term undiagnosed knee problems
Elisabeth explains the impact of her knee injury
Dr Ronald van Heerwaarden diagnoses Elisabeth severe patellofemoral pain and instability
Elisabeth explains how she felt at the prosect of surgery with Dr Ronald van Heerwaarden
Elisabeth explains how she felt after surgery on her right leg
Elisabeth explains how she felt after the 2nd surgery on her left leg
Elisabeth explains how her legs are after surgery
Elisabeth gives her advice for patients needing similar surgery
This case study replaces the earlier version published in October 2020 which contained some factual inaccuracies.
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