54-year-old iron man, Neil
Consultant: Prof Adrian Wilson
Knee osteotomy (realignment) surgery
54-year-old ‘iron man’ has an osteotomy to realign his knee and cure him of persistent knee pain.
Neil had always been extremely active, practising full contact martial arts when he was younger followed by iron man competitions into his 50s.
Following a competition in 2017, Neil’s right knee started giving him pain and his knee remained uncomfortable and swollen, especially after any activity. Whilst he kept active, this was limited to walking and he needed pain killers afterwards.
Attempts to drain Neil’s knee didn’t help so his physiotherapist recommended a well-known knee specialist in Yorkshire, Steve Bollen, who is an expert in sports injuries to the knee. After examining Neil and carrying out scans, Mr Bollen diagnosed degradation of the cartilage. At 54 Mr Bollen felt that Neil was too young for a knee replacement so he referred him to Adrian. Mr Bollen knew Professor Wilson from attending presentations he had given on minimally invasive knee osteotomy surgery. He thought a knee osteotomy was an ideal solution, allowing Neil to keep his knee, which would be re-aligned to remove the pressure which was causing the pain.
Despite the 5 hour car journey to get his clinic, having researched the procedures Adrian carried out, Neil felt he was the best surgeon to deal with his particular injury.
On examining Neil and after a MRI scan, Adrian saw that Neil was quite bow legged, was unable to straighten his knee and had tenderness on the inner side of his knee. Adrian suggested a bi-planar osteotomy technique, which re-aligns the knee in two planes, removing both the bow-leggedness and allowing the knee to straighten.
As with any major surgery, Neil was slightly apprehensive, but considered himself to be in the best possible hands for the operation.
Neil’s procedure went extremely well and he was able to leave hospital within two days of having the operation:
“My expectations have been exceeded, finding that I could put weight on the leg after 24 hours, however delicate it felt at that stage.”
On getting back home to Yorkshire, Neil was actually so pain-free that he got on the tread mill for a few minutes on the lowest setting after a few days, although he paid for it the day after!
Adrian was delighted with Neil’s progress at the two-week stage:
“He is doing very well and I am delighted to hear that he felt confident enough to go on the treadmill for half a mile within a day or two of surgery. I think that this is a testament to the new technique.”
Four weeks into recovery and Neil was walking unassisted, having discarded his crutches after just two 2 weeks the brace after three. He found the cryocuff ice wrap a great help to keep swelling down.
At this stage, Neil restarted his physiotherapy to increase the flexibility in his knee and even took to his bike for the first time. Neil is delighted with his treatment and the results and said:
“I would recommend Adrian and his superb team for anyone who thinks that they may as well just ‘put up with the pain.’ The procedure was minimal intrusion so the scarring is fading nicely already. I have a way to go but I am confident that I will be training properly again within a month or so. My heart-felt thanks and gratitude.”
Neil updated Adrian in early June with this message: “Going out on bike now for a good ride. All going really well. Delighted of the Dales!”