Ryan had always had a very active lifestyle and enjoyed his sports, including a long rugby career, taking part in marathons and going skiing. This, along with his energetic work life and hereditary issues, left him with painful knee problems. Over twelve years, he had a series of arthroscopic surgeries in an attempt to resolve his problems and manage his pain, but saw little or no improvement.
Ryan’s knees caused increasing levels of pain and gradually limited his range of movement so that by 2018 it was unbearable and restricted him in every aspect of his life. He realised that he needed to take action, and so met with the orthopaedic surgeon Mr Andrew Cossey. Mr Cossey assessed Ryan’s situation and advised him that, in view of his previous knee problems and the failure of the tibial osteotomy (knee re-alignment), the best person to treat him was Professor Wilson.
When Professor Wilson met with Ryan, they discussed what solution would be best for him. Together, they agreed that the best course of action was to have a knee replacement on both knees. Ryan’s hectic work schedule meant he couldn’t have the operation immediately, so he and Professor Wilson decided on a time which would fit with his schedule and allow him to take the time off work he needed to recover.
Professor Wilson explains the background to choosing to replace both Ryan’s knees at the same time: “Doing double knee replacement surgery in the UK is very uncommon. One of the reasons for this is you need the right kind of team to allow you to do to total knee replacement at the same time. Working with Mr Raghbir Khakha, who is a fellow consultant specialist and the team that we built together at The Wellington Hospital has made this straightforward and very reproducible.”
He continues: “Bilateral simultaneous total knee replacement commonplace in countries such as Australia and having seen this first hand through my fellowship earlier in my career, it’s always been my hope that I can emulate and reproduce this within my practice. Working with Raghbir has allowed me to do that.”
Speaking of his apprehension before the operation, Ryan said “I had been in pain for so long and could barely remember being pain free and having freedom of movement. I was in no doubt it was going to be a major operation and take a lot of rehabilitation.”
The operation, which took place in December 2018, went well. Ryan was initially hesitant about the ‘GameReady’ ice compression which featured as part of his recovery, having been unimpressed with it from previous operations, however this time it exceeded his expectations and formed an important part of his recovery.
Two weeks on from his operation, Ryan was walking without crutches and his pain levels were minimal. He is delighted with the results, particularly given so many previous operations had failed to generate any improvement. He said “My range of movement is well in excess of anything I could have imagined and the whole process was far less painful than I had expected. I’m looking forward to the new lease of life this will bring. A huge thank you to Professor Wilson and his team, who were first class in every respect.”
Ryan was back driving and working 3 weeks after the operation, when he is also started cycling. A further 3 weeks later he was able to walk as far as he wanted.