Life-changing micro drilling surgery enables Maddie to walk independently of crutches.

Severe knee instability left Maddie needing expert paediatric surgery to continue her active lifestyle.

In early 2019, 11-year-old Maddie and her parents began to notice that both her knees were starting to collapse and buckle when she was playing sports. Initially, her parents believed her symptoms were growing pains and decided to wait to see if they disappeared.

Unfortunately, Maddie gradually became unable to walk and had to use crutches to move around. Maddie’s father decided to do some research and found Professor Wilson, a paediatric knee specialist, online. The family booked an appointment straight away and were recommended to book Maddie an MRI scan. After looking at the MRI scans, Professor Wilson was able to diagnose Maddie with osteochondritis, a knee disease which interrupts the blood supply to the bone which results in bone death (necrosis) and later regrowth of the bone. He advised them that she could either rest for a year to see if her symptoms improved or he could operate and get the blood flow going and take it from there.

After taking the time to discuss the options as a family, they decided to go ahead with Maddie’s surgery. In July 2019, Professor Wilson and his colleague, Mr Raghbir Khakha, performed double knee micro-drilling surgery to try and get the blood circulating properly. Maddie started hydrotherapy and physiotherapy a few weeks after her operation but remained in a wheelchair during the Summer holiday. She went back to school on crutches in September and recently went to have MRIs taken to monitor her progress.

The latest MRI showed that Maddie’s left knee, which had been worse than her right, was completely healed. Her right knee is almost fully recovered, and she is now back to enjoying sports again.

In her follow-up consultation, Professor Wilson remarked: “Maddie has got back to full sporting activity and she has had a significant growth spurt. The fact that her knees are symmetrical is very reassuring.” 

Maddie’s mum Fiona’s advice to other parents: “Don’t ignore your children and assume it’s growing pains. Take Professor Wilson’s advice, as he has the expertise. He is very approachable and a good listener. He had a very good manner with Maddie and treated her as an equal. Maddie wasn’t scared; she trusted Professor Wilson as he focused his attention on her, which was excellent. He is available 24/7 and provided a quick diagnosis and treatment. He and his team were great, as was Mr Khakha, he was just lovely.” 

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