CASE STUDY

Gym enthusiast returns to activity and wearing heels after a high tibial osteotomy

Rosemary had osteoarthritis in her right knee but none of the previous treatments she tried managed to cure the pain

Gym enthusiast Rosemary Alwis was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in the right knee – and early signs in the left knee – in early 2014.

She had various treatments which didn’t stop the pain including taking anti-inflammatory drugs, steroid injections which only stopped the pain for two months and a meniscectomy on the right knee in July 2014 which only relieved the pain for three months.

Rosemary said: “I realised that my treatment options were exhausted, and decided I needed a consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon and possibly a partial knee replacement. I asked my GP to refer me to Professor Adrian Wilson and used my workplace BUPA health insurance. Professor Wilson was recommended to me by a colleague who had had a successful partial knee replacement on both knees with Professor Wilson.”

Professor Wilson confirmed that Rosemary had anterior compartment knee osteoarthritis and recommended a high tibial osteotomy rather than a partial knee replacement. An osteotomy realigns your knee which allows your body weight to be distributed evenly through the knee joint. This relieves the pressure on damaged tissue, allowing it to heal, and preserves the joint in the correct position to help avoid problems in the future. The fact patients keep their own knee rather than replacing the joint means they can return to normal levels of activity and is particularly helpful in younger, active patients such as Rosemary.

Rosemary had not heard much about a high tibial osteotomy before so she did some research and discussed it further with Professor Wilson.  Trusting Professor Wilson’s judgement Rosemary finally agreed to go ahead with the procedure.

The operation was carried out in February 2018. At Rosemary’s final post-operation consultation with Prof Wilson, he confirmed she was making good progress. Rosemary was now free of much of the pain in the knee.

“I am hoping for total pain relief in this operated right knee for at least 10 years, and the pain relief so far has been 90% successful. Obviously, how long I will be pain free will be determined in due course.” said Rosemary.

Rosemary has resumed going to the gym four times a week and is using the bike and the cross trainer. She is also now wearing kitten heel shoes which she had not been able to do for a long time.

Rosemary advised anyone with similar knee problems to go and see Professor Wilson, particularly as if suitable, his preferred option is osteotomy rather than a partial knee replacement.

She said: “I can categorically say that my overall experience of being treated by Prof Wilson – from the time of the initial consultation to the post-operation consultation – was positive, informative and extremely professional. I won’t deny that the osteotomy was a painful process, but not stressful and with the right pain killers prescribed by him I was able to cope.”

Rosemary said that Professor Wilson was approachable and explained the procedure in detail. None of her consultations with him were hurried and he always had time for her. She added that she would not hesitate to recommend Professor Wilson to anyone who could benefit from his expertise.

She said: “I would like to add that I find him very amiable too and he comes across as being very passionate about what he does. The pain in my left knee has increased now despite me using an Unloader One knee brace so I am presently considering having a high tibial osteotomy on the left knee in January/February 2019.”

July 2018

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