Name: Conor Pepper, Professional Footballer
Surgery: MPFL reconstruction and retro-patellar chondroplasty
On Feb 24th 2016 I was playing a championship league game away at Hibernian F.C. I played a simple cross that I would always do every day but felt a massive shock in my knee and felt my kneecap come away from my leg. I was taken to hospital straight from the match.
After having scans the cartilage on my knee cap was damaged and local consultants decided the knee cartilage needed to be cleaned up. I had the operation in late March and began my rehab a few weeks later. On return to full training with my club around the October/November of that year my knee felt like it had done something similar to what happened the first time in a game during a similar pass. The pain was excruciating and I was in terrible pain and had to be carried off the pitch.
Club Physios thought I had maybe returned too soon, and so I rehabilitated the injury again. My knee broke down two more times and so after more scans and seeing other consultants in Scotland around December/January 2017 they thought retirement may need to be an option as the cartilage was - in there opinion - the reason my knee would continually break down as on scans there was no ligament damage.
The injury would always occur when my leg would open up to whip the ball or cross a ball and my kneecap would often feel loose when running or playing longer passes. I decided to seek a second opinion and researching the specialists in knee damage. After sending a report to Prof Adrian Wilson and a single short consultancy visit he was able to pinpoint the ligament and why it wasn’t showing on scans.
I had carried out some research on this ligament damage with footballers and read things like “the nightmare for footballers “ and there not many cases of similar injuries. Prof Wilson was always confident of a fix and it definitely helped in my decision to go ahead with the operation.
Professor Wilson operated on me on April 4th 2017 and I underwent a personal full time rehabilitation program guided by him. In early December I ran for the first time on a treadmill and by the end of December was using a ball in drills with my Physio at the club and now after full training for two to three months I completed 70 mins in a reserve game for my first part in any game for just over two years in March 2018.
Here I am at my first game back. I am now back fully confident being able to do all of what my knee could before with the help of Prof Wilson.
The videos below show me back in training...
These videos show full crossing and longer range of passing as recent as March 2018. I will always be grateful to Prof Adrian Wilson for his approach and expertise and the opportunity this has given me to continue with my career after two years out injured.
Conor is a 23-year-old, elite football player, who sadly sustained a major injury to his knee two years ago. He had cortisone injections and subsequently an arthroscopy, which confirmed a significant retropatellar chondral lesion. He was also noted to have some instability. He came to see me because of my expertise in ligament reconstruction and underwent an MPFL reconstruction in April of last year. I am delighted that he has done so well with the surgery as he is now back to playing without any symptoms whatsoever.