Richard is a very fit and active 56-year old gentleman who has his own business. After his own internet research he went forward with a double-level (femur and tibia) osteotomy, and has not regretted it.
He developed medial knee pain on the left side and noticed quite a bowing of his leg which was getting progressively worse. He went up to London and saw some very well known orthopaedic surgeons who all recommended an osteotomy.
He did some research and found that I was considered to be an expert in osteotomy and came to see me because of my expertise. Prior to doing the surgery he had become very sedentary and was finding walking difficult and couldn't enjoy a round of golf - he could only get to the ninth hole. He used to enjoy cycling but could no longer do this.
The first time I spoke to him about osteotomy he was really quite frightened at the prospect because of what was described, but he actually looked into it in great detail and found some of my articles and videos on the internet. He read some of the blogs and heard stories from the patients and was amazed at how quickly they recovered and how predictable the results were within my practice.
After evaluation and discussion he was then booked in for an osteotomy in the autumn of 2016.
We did the X-ray analysis and he was really very bent (varus) so he required a double-level correction. So I did a closing-wedge in the femur (thighbone) on the outside and an opening wedge in the tibia (shinbone) on the inside. This allowed me to get him back to neutral and gave him a straight leg, and the post-op long leg X-rays reflect that we actually got a perfect result.
He used to enjoy squash and cricket. Prior to surgery he was struggling to even walk around - he was reluctant and would think of other things to do or ask people to do things for him. Six or seven years previously he had a discussion with a consultant about osteotomy, but he got the impression that it was more of a 'butchery' than surgery, and he shelved it and got on with trying to develop the muscles. However as time went on he became bandy-legged, and was in more pain, and if he did anything of an athletic nature the knee would swell up and if he did any serious sport it would swell up and stay like that for several weeks.
His left knee was the bad one, and he was doing everything with his right knee, so the muscle was building up nicely in that one, but the left knee was wasting away. If he did a round of golf he would be off at nine holes and limping a lot, and people would be asking 'what is wrong with your leg'.
Sleeping was ok unless he had done any sport, and then it would ache most of the night and he would have to take anti-inflammatories.
Prior to making the decision to go ahead with osteotomy, he searched online about 'new knees', and had gone to see a doctor who said he was too young for a knee replacement, but could have injections. The doctor did not mention osteotomy. He then went online again anyway, and looked at knee replacement surgeons, and in his reading osteotomy started coming up as being an option to avoid having an early 'new knee'. After further extensive research Professor Wilson's name came up, as surgeon and as lecturer on the topic, and he thought that he would rather have someone who taught the surgeon who would do it rather than that surgeon himself.
Regarding the surgery nine months previously, he recalled that he had virtually no pain at all. Regarding the recovery, he felt that the information that he had been given about the timings of the various stages of rehabilitation were absolutely perfect - if he tried to push things too hard, the knee 'told him off'.
Despite the osteotomy involving both the femur and the tibia, he insists that he had no pain on the day the surgery was performed or the day after. Because there was so little pain, there was a temptation to put too much weight on, but despite this people were astonished that he was really in so little pain.
At nine months, just prior to having the plates removed he says he is able to walk up stairs with no pain at all, he can stand up from a settee or chair with both legs rather than favouring one, a round of golf is fine except for a slight ache which he feels is because the muscles in that leg have not yet fully strengthened.
Richard sent this latest photo -
"Back on the slopes and no pain!"
I am delighted to say that nine months down the line he is now able to walk completely pain free and walk anywhere he likes, any distance and over any sort of terrain. There is no issue with hills and he can go up and down steps once more without pain or discomfort. He is absolutely delighted with his result, as am I, and I am very grateful to Richard that he has allowed us to share his experience.