Lorraine, who lives in Scotland, had a skiing accident in France and suffered a ruptured ACL, a chipped fibula and ligament damage on the inside and outside of her right leg.
Her leg was put in a brace to keep it straight and she was given crutches. But when she returned to the UK she found out she had missed the window for surgery.
After having a scan and seeing a surgeon, she began physiotherapy to get back mobility and extension in her leg. She was given a second brace to allow mobility in her knee.
Lorraine said: “After three months of physio and much pain, the leg was far from straight and so I had an arthroscopy. My consultant said there was a lot more wear and tear than he would have expected and said to continue with physiotherapy to achieve full extension.”
Three months later Lorraine’s knee gave way and the consultant did an ACL reconstruction.
Lorraine again had physiotherapy to try and get her leg straight but after 7 months she still walked with a limp and was in pain.
She had a second arthroscopy but continued to feel pain. In September 2016, her consultant told her there was nothing else he could do.
For the next 14 months Lorraine accepted the pain and inability to walk more than a mile. She could cycle and swim a few lengths but that was her limit. Lorraine decided to pursue the possibility of a knee replacement and was referred to Professor Adrian Wilson.
Adrian said: “Lorraine’s knee was very stiff and although it felt stable, she did have episodes of giving way as well. She limped when she walked. She struggled on the stairs. She used to be very active and really everything had ground to a halt as a result of this very significant injury.”
After an MRI scan and X-rays, Adrian performed an arthroscopy which involved a notchplasty and releasing part of the ACL and the bone around the notch to get the leg out straight. This, and repairing the torn lateral meniscus, enabled the knee to be virtually straight on the operating table.
Lorraine said: “After coming out of the anaesthetic, I thought my mind was playing tricks on me or that my knee was still numb because for the first time in three years, I could straighten my knee. I now walk without a limp.”
For at least 8 hours per day for 10 weeks Lorraine had to wear a spring loaded brace to keep her leg straight when sleeping and she built her knee back up with physiotherapy.
“I am delighted that Lorraine says that her knee has not felt this good in three years and she is doing so well. Arthroscopic arthrolysis really can play a very powerful role in a stiff knee, even at this late stage,” said Adrian.