This is a great story. Cheryl is a really charming 70 year old who works as a potter in Cornwall and really enjoys her recreational walking there.
She had problems with her right knee many years ago and had an arthroscopy locally in 2010. This helped her symptoms but she was never able to get back to walking the coastal paths, which was something she really enjoyed.
When I saw her just before Christmas 2017, she could only walk for 5-10 minutes with difficulty, and for the month before seeing me she deteriorated further. Her life was really built around working as a potter in Cornwall and walking up and down the hill from her home to her place of work, and this was something that she was beginning to find very difficult indeed.
Cheryl had also noticed that her right knee (left side of image) was beginning to point in at a very significant angle as she developed more and more of a knock-kneed appearance, and this had got worse quite significantly over the last few months leading up to seeing me.
We went through all the possible options but really her arthritis was so severe and the deformity so progressive that I thought that the best option was a total knee replacement.
Cheryl, not surprisingly, was a little anxious about having total knee replacement surgery (which I performed two weeks before writing this).
Compare the joint space of left and right knee, and the joint space of the inner and outer part of the right knee (left side of image)
After total knee replacement (from front and from side) on the right knee
It was a very difficult operation technically because of the severe valgus but we got a great result 'on the table' and I was delighted on the day following surgery that when I went to see her Thursday morning first thing, after having done the surgery late Wednesday afternoon, that she could already bend her knee to 120 degrees, had no swelling and at that point had developed no pain.
She has had a really excellent result over the last two weeks, being able to get off her crutches within two to three days when she got down to one crutch, which is very unusual and as she says walking around the house she doesn't use any crutches. When she does go out and about she uses one crutch and she can now walk with very little discomfort and has maintained an excellent range of motion. Again it is excellent to see at this early stage that she can go straight and bend actively to 125 degrees. She is also delighted that her knee is straight again. Having straightened up her knee, it has sorted out other problems upstream in terms of hip pain and back pain - and even neck pain - and she has had a really superb outcome.It is really early days and I am sure that she will improve further as she works with her physiotherapist.
Cheryl is really a very good example of how someone can recover following a total knee replacement and therefore a good patient to share, as many patients are worried about undergoing this large intervention for fear of having a bad outcome.
I think seeing someone who has had such a superb outcome in terms of the functional result and with minimal pain will hearten many people and encourage them to go down the route of knee replacement if that is appropriate for their particular knee. You can see from the video how well Cheryl walks and hear her experiences in the short video that I took in the outpatients department two weeks before writing this..