My knee problems are as a result of a long rugby career, marathons, skiing, a very active work life coupled with some hereditary issues (both my parents had knee problems).
I had a series of arthroscopic surgeries on both knees over the last twelve years culminating in a tibial osteotomy in 2012 on my right knee. This gave little improvement, so had the plate removed in 2013 - again no improvement. I had one further arthroscopy in 2014 , but no change.
My pain levels increased on the right knee, and by the beginning of 2016 my left knee began to become painful. Quickly I was enduring high levels of pain on both knees, which was significantly compromising work and lifestyle. I was unable to walk for more than 10 to 15 mins without rest, and by 2018, it was restricting every aspect of work and leisure.
I was initially under Simon Cavanagh at the Nuffield in Chichester. He then referred me to Neil Thomas at the Hampshire Clinic, Basingstoke, and it was he that advised me to have an osteotomy in preference to a knee replacement.
Neil Thomas retired in 2015, and with my increasing pain and lack of movement I sought further advice. I met with Andrew Cossey at the Portsmouth Spire, who was very helpful. Given my long history of problems, and lack of success with the tibial osteotomy, he suggested I should meet with Prof Adrian Wilson.
I met with Adrian in January 2018. We quickly agreed that a bilateral knee replacement was what I needed, so we planned the operation to fit around my work schedule such that I could take some time off to recover.
Operation was set for December 2018.
Given that I had been in pain for so long it was hard to imagine being pain free with freedom of movement. I was in no doubt it was going to be a major operation, and aware that it was going to take a lot of work post op.
The operation went very well, with great support from all the team...namely both surgeons and anaesthetist.
Epidural and extensive local anaesthetic have changed the game with this type of operation, ...combined with ice compression via 'GameReady' . I know this from bitter experience of a previous op. Recovery time is so much improved. At two weeks post op, I am now walking with no crutches , and with a range of movement well in excess of anything I could have imagined.
For anyone considering a double knee replacement, it is very possible, but you need to be fit. The first few days are tough , but improvement through weeks two/three is incredible.
Prof Wilson and his team were first class in every respect. I came through what is a major op with far less pain than I could ever have imagined. A combination of epidural, targeted pain relief and the 'game ready' all played a part .
I am now two weeks post op, pain levels are insignificant, am walking comfortably without crutches, and not withstanding some substantial physio to get my muscles back working, I'm looking forward to a new lease of life...... a big thanks to all the team.