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Keen walker and hill climber Marta can do all her favourite activities to the same, if not better level after a meniscus transplant.

Marta started to experience a problem with her right knee 2-3 years ago. She used to get a sharp knee pain, which however always settled down in few minutes and was not restricting her activities. That was the case until the beginning of May 2016 when she went for her annual 40-mile Ridgeway walk (14th one).

I had an amazing recovery – I was able to bend my knee after 48 hours and was back to wakeboarding within two months of my operation. Four months later, I have no pain or swelling and can carry out lengthy surgery standing without any problems.

TAGGED INProf Adrian Wilson

Meniscal tears in the knee

Meniscal surgery

Marta had a chronic bucket handle tear to the meniscus. The knee was physically locked and she couldn’t straighten her knee, the only option was to resect the meniscus.

Marta explains:
“Right at the beginning of that walk, I experienced my usual sharp knee pain. When the pain eased I was able to finish the walk, even in a quite good time. The next morning I was not able to put the slightest weight on my knee. Although after few days of icing it and taking painkillers the pain was reduced, I was limping a lot and really struggling with different movements, such as climbing stairs or turning. Thus I decided to see a specialist, Prof. Wilson, suggested by my colleague. I was hoping that my knee problem could be treated fast and that I would be able to go on my planned trip to the mountains towards the end of August. Unfortunately, that appeared not to be the case.”

Adrian diagnosed a bucket handle tear of the medial meniscus causing locking of her right knee and severe osteitis in her tibia. After an arthroscopy her knee was still painful.

To deal with Marta’s persisting knee problem, Adrian recommended a meniscal transplant. Adrian explains:
“Marta was in her 50s and therefore there was an underlying degree of wear and tear – but on MRI and during arthroscopy her joint surfaces looked really very good”.

When three months after surgery Marta was able to walk unsupported, and no longer experienced any pain in her knee.

16 weeks after surgery (just 3 weeks after starting to wean off crutches and brace) she was able to walk without limping, something she hadn’t been able to do for the past 10 months. Another 3 weeks later she walked for a mile in 17 minutes. The following week she managed her first countryside walk of 5 miles (still with a support of the brace and walking polls recommended by her physiotherapist). All those activities did not trigger any knee pain.

Marta is really positive about her return to activities:
“I am now hoping to go on hiking in the mountains (with peaks above 2000 m) in August. I am also looking forward that the next year I might be able to go on the famous GR-20 hiking in Corsica something what is on top of my list of many dreamed hiking adventures.

I am so grateful to be offered to undergo meniscal transplant surgery which seems to be providing an amazing result. It is turning me from a person full of pain and limping back to mobile and active one which I would like to be as long as possible”.

3.5 years after meniscal transplant surgery

Marta updates almost 4 years after surgery: “I am so delighted that after my meniscus transplant surgery (done 3.5 years ago) I can do all my favourite activities at the same level, if not even better, as before my subtotal meniscectomy four years ago.  It is great to enjoy again, without knee pain and mobility restrictions, all this.” 

Marta continues: “And that is all thanks to the brilliant transplant surgery of Professor Adrian Wilson, supported by the additional great surgery of Mr Mike Fox to sort out my nerve issue problem, as well as a lot of excellent physiotherapy treatment and support of Mr Simon Orr. Because of complexity of my knee problem the recovery was not easy, and it required a lot of hard work on my exercises to get my knee strong again and generally to increase my fitness that my knee would not get easily overloaded. But all that effort of everybody involved greatly paid off!!! Thanks so much to all of you to get my joy at outdoor activities back. My knee feels stronger than ever and I will hopefully enjoy it for many years to come.”

In November 2020 she wrote to Professor Wilson to say: “Today is the 4th anniversary of my meniscus transplant surgery. The surgery which restored greatly my knee functionality. The proof is that besides other activities, I now walk between 150 to 200 miles every month. And my knee is doing extremely well. A big thank you for giving me such great reason for celebration today.” 

She gives another update in March 2021 and sent in her step count, below: “Unbelievable that it is almost one year since my last review appointment for my knee and I will see you for that tomorrow. It was another really great year for my knee, but truly awful for anything else.” 

Here are Marta’s statistics for the last 6 months showing the scale of what she can do following her knee surgery. 

steps counter

Professor Wilson concludes: “I am so delighted Marta has much such a complete recovery and even more pleased that her knee allows her to do even more than she could before.”

Professor Adrian Wilson
Professor Adrian Wilson:

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