Age does not need to be a barrier

I have always been active, horse riding all my life and playing hockey since I was 11 years old. Netball, skiing, diving, sailing - any sport I could try I did. Something was bound to go but I had been fortunate.

In early 2016 I had odd sensations down my left Quad and the left side of the shin. A few years previously I had had two arthroscopies on my left knee which relieved some of the pain. During a warm-up run before a match my left leg wouldn’t work properly and then during the match I had to leave the pitch as I couldn’t run. I had lots of physio but later there appeared to be more issues than I first thought. The pain was almost unbearable I couldn’t walk, lie or even sit without pain. Late one night in tears and pain, I 'googled' all my symptoms and deduced I should see an Osteopath.

I found Ian Harrison and after two visits he said "I cannot fix you but I know someone who can". He sent me to Mr Harker who gave an epidural anti-inflammatory into a squashed nerve in my back.

Ian Harrison then said right i am going to introduce you to Professor Wilson.


My expectations were low - new knees or partial knees had been talked about after the previous arthroscopies. I had refused as other people had said leave it as long as you can. A bone realignment had been mentioned but wasn’t something this surgeon would carry out. Again I wasn’t confident and decided to carry on as I was. For a while things were not too bad until, as above, early 2016.

My expectation was that any sports for me (age 64) were over, having been a huge part of my life. It was a major blow but I had accepted this was probably the case. Professor Wilson listened to me and delivered the news I expected, but he sat and was obviously thinking it through and to my surprise said "I don't think a new knee is going to do it for you. There is an operation I perform - an osteotomy. He went on to explain what it was and what would happen, what the risks were and how long the recovery was, and said I should go away and discuss it with my husband and family. I said I didn’t need to and that we should go ahead.

My expectations exceeded

The results of Professor Wilson's surgery have exceeded my expectations and I think probably his as well. I suspect that the recovery for this operation is different for a younger person. There was a time that I had been on crutches far too long but couldn’t walk well without them. I followed instructions for rehabilitation to the letter but found that the follow-up physiotherapy at the clinic was not good enough for the operation I had. I decided to deal with my rehabilitation myself and went to Simon Orr who i already knew - he and his team have been instrumental in getting me back to fitness and have seen my struggle for months to achieve progress.

My advice is if you have the stubbornness and determination to get through the rehabilitation you may get to where I am now. You can either do as much as necessary to get you walking without pain or you can push the boundaries which i did with loads of encouragement from the professionals, friends and family. The best part was they all believed I would recover, no one questioned why at 64 I was doing this.

Ten months after my operation i was trying my hockey skills out with the help of a leg brace, at 15 months to my delight I was back on skis with my grandchildren! At 18 months into my recovery I was selected into the England over 65 hockey squad and become part of the Gold Medal winning team at The World Cup in Barcelona 2018. I think that says it all regarding my treatment by Professor Wilson.

I have had the most amazing year. Although the knees are a bit sore - understandably old age and too much sport! - I have skied again over NY. It didn’t enter my head not to go where my daughter's friends went - all younger skiers and boarders.  Some I’d not met and they were astonished by my story, as it popped up while we were away.  I am still playing hockey and cycling and doing Ride the Night 100k in May for Cancer Charities. Hopefully my knees will hold out - leg is amazing. 


Update 2019

Adrian Wilson

Adrian Wilson

It’s great to see that Miranda has got back to such a high level of activity following her osteotomy surgery.

Sport has always been incredibly important to Miranda and she’s got back to where she wants to be following joint preserving osteotomy surgery.

A recent study by my friend and colleague, Ronald van Heerwaarden, has shown that 60% of patients are able to do high levels of activity and sport after osteotomy surgery. 

Well done Miranda!

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