Osteotomy – my journey


I had an osteotomy of my right knee at the age of 46, after having been told that I was too young for a knee replacement.

I had played tennis from the age of 6 until 44, and coached for 20 years at LTA / PTR / RPT levels. I also travelled and walked lots, and have been kneeling as my other job has been a electrical engineer. I also played squash, badminton, rugby - you name it. I've always been a very active guy all my life.

After having three previous arthroscopies over a 10 year period prior to 2015 in my home town of Northampton, I was told -

"sorry this third time we can do nothing for you - it’s a knee replacement at 55, and you’ll have to have steroid injections from 45-55 as you are too young for a knee replacement!" 

Then I did have steroids which made me feel like superman - the effect for the first time lasting six months, the second time two months, the third time two weeks, and the fourth time only three days. Then I was then told by Northampton Three Shires that I could have no more steroids, and it would need to be tablets. What - for 10 years?!!!! 

Out came hours of Google research. I went to meet then Doctor (now Professor) Adrian Wilson (AW) in early 2015 with a view to fixing my long term knee pain issues. After considerable time 'googling' and reading reviews, AW came out as the man for me - at all costs I wanted some quality of life back.

After meeting AW I was booked for a 2015 operation date. At this point in time I was told my knee was in bad shape, and was like that of a 60 year old's, and that osteotomy was the best route to avoid knee replacement.

I very stupidly postponed the op to move home and carry out extensive works on my new home, returning in late 2016 to book the op for mid October 2016. By this point the delay had set me back considerably and I was in pain walking even 100m or driving for five miles (bad mistake on my part). The then later MRI & X-rays weren’t good pre operation - I had gone to a 86 year old right knee, and was also transmitting my body load to my left knee which was now also damaged and torn to a 70 year old man.

The osteotomy surgery

I had the operation 7pm 12th October 2016. Yes it hurt, but I had no other choice.

First week

Day 1 I couldn’t even touch my leg it hurt so bad.

By day 2, I was on crutches and could walk aided the length of a large hospital corridors at Hampshire BMI (I fully recommend the treatment and care was excellent ). By the time of checking out of hospital on the afternoon of day 2, I was flying on crutches up and down multiple corridors with ease - my iphone said I covered 1/4 of a mile today.

Day 3 in hospital standing unaided on crutches good range of movement doing the exercises tooI did rent a game ready for 1 month at home and this was excellent for bringing down the pain swellingWithin coming off the game ready my op area was very hot within 30 mins the ice machine really helped me a lot forget frozen bags of peas


After 20 days, I was using a static gym bike - at a low level, granted, but it was fine - I started level 1 high seated position, and went from 3-5 mins to 30 mins and level 5 within 2 weeks.

My pain pre op was 9/10, and during the 11 months recovery it was off and on 3/10 at the time of writing. I am not sure if this is down to the plate and screws in my leg or me over doing it or both.

Plate removal

I had regular checkups with now Professor Wilson and all went to plan.

I am now writing this 27th September 2017, so not even one year since my operation.  At the outset AW said it could be 12-18 months before plate removal. The drawback of waiting 12-18months is the bone growing over the screws, or issues just removing the screws and the screw heads snapping off. I can say right now (27/9/17) I have a doggy bag with my plate and screws in it - all screw heads are intact and perfect and all removed - no problem. My op was 1pm today and now at 12 midnight I've walked unaided to the toilet a few times and I am in no pain whatsoever. I look forward to going home 12 noon in the morning of 28th.

Adrian was always there offering expert advice via email and phone calls which was a bonus rather than being passed to a nurse or physio. AW really cares for his work and patients, and I would have no issues in recommending him to anyone and the key thing is not to delay as I did. To be honest I may never play the sports I did again as AW said my knee is right up there as one of the worst he’s ever seen - but at 47 it’s got to be better than knee replacement. I wait to see if AW and his team discover something in the near future that may avoid my knee replacement even after I am 55. To Adrian and his team I thank you for giving me some quality of life back

adrian wilson

Michael Hackett had a single side high tibial osteotomy. His joint surfaces were really worn. He was in real trouble and struggling to walk and had slowed down enormously.
Surgery was very straight-forward technically and he did really well.
He was getting some minor plate discomfort and had his plate removed in September 2017.
He has done really well and got back to a very good level of function. He can now walk pain free which was previously very painful. Simple activities like stair climbing are now possible and painless.
He just shows to me the power of osteotomy. He was an individual with bone on bone arthritis at a very early age, and was told there were no options available by several at the doctors. In fact ticked he all the boxes for high tibial osteotomy to me and has done extremely well following the procedure.

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