Suzanne, keen dog walker
Consultant: Prof Adrian Wilson
Knee arthritis / osteoarthritis
Suzanne has her everyday mobility back, can swim using breaststroke and crucially is back out and about with her dog.
Suzanne started having knee problems in her twenties after sustaining injuries playing netball and squash. She underwent multiple arthroscopies and microsurgery, but gradually both knees became arthritic. The impact on her mobility meant that walking her dog became increasingly difficult. She had to take regular painkillers and her sleep was disrupted due to discomfort.
Suzanne was referred to Professor Adrian Wilson in 2011 through her GP. She was immediately impressed with his clear, open approach and following an initial assessment, he confirmed that she was extremely likely to need both knees replacing at some point. He performed several athroscopies (a minimally invasive surgical procedure) and these procedures combined with a programme of physiotherapy enabled Suzanne to prolong the use of her knees far longer than expected without the need for major surgery.
In 2017, Professor Wilson had performed a partial knee replacement on Suzanne’s right knee, which healed rapidly, was pain-free and left her more mobile than ever before, with Professor Wilson himself commenting that: “Suzanne had an excellent result from her right partial knee replacement.” So, Suzanne knew she was in good hands prior to having her full left knee replaced, which became necessary following a deterioration in its condition. Once an MRI scan and X-rays had been taken, the surgery took place in October 2019.
Nine weeks after her full left knee replacement surgery, despite a minor post-op setback that delayed her physio, Suzanne is now making excellent progress. She says: “Professor Wilson was extremely supportive when I had my setback and was always available if I had any concerns or worries and took personal responsibility for my care and monitoring.” She hasn’t taken painkillers since the second week after surgery, is experiencing only minimal discomfort and is seeing improvement every day.
Following her surgery and recovery, Suzanne can now: swim using breaststroke after years of being unable to; get in and out of the bath comfortably; sit on the floor and get up again; go up and down stairs even when carrying items; crouch using both knees; remove wellington boots without pain, and crucially, she can walk her dog again.
Suzanne advises others with similar problems to begin having physiotherapy as soon as possible to build muscle strength, balance and mobility which can help to delay major surgery. She also highlights the importance of keeping as fit and active as you can, within your limits. She adds: “If you do need knee replacement surgery, it’s really important to follow all the post-op advice and not to be nervous of starting to do any weight bearing. Getting in the pool is excellent therapy – I’m now going at least twice per week.” She also recommends the continued use of ice to prevent swelling and to work every day on simple exercises at home.
Suzanne considers herself extremely fortunate to have been referred to Professor Wilson and has total confidence in the him, following two successful operations. She has always appreciated the way he unfailingly keeps her fully informed of the risks and benefits of any treatment and concludes: “My full left knee replacement surgery went very well and I’m already feeling the benefits of being pain-free and building up my strength and mobility. I’m very confident that I can stay mobile and active for years to come but would have no hesitation in seeing Professor Wilson again if I have any further issues or concerns.”
Professor Wilson concludes: “I’m so pleased to have been able to see Suzanne through both her knee replacements and I’m delighted she has made such a full recovery and is back doing the activities she enjoys so much.”