CASE STUDY

60-year-old Clive describes total knee replacement as the best thing he’s ever done after decades of pain

Clive’s valgus legs had led to wear and tear on his left knee in particular and he needed a long term solution to enable him to walk without pain

Clive had always had valgus legs – or knock knees. By the time he was 40 years old, this had caused the meniscus to wear and eventually tear on the outside of his left knee.

He had a lateral meniscectomy and then went on to have a lateral release but this left his leg even more bent. He saw a different orthopaedic surgeon and had a tibial tubercle osteotomy in 2002 – which helped to a degree – but he had further instability, pain and arthritis.

Adrian said: “When I saw Clive he had really quite significant valgus on the left, and initially I thought of a distal femoral osteotomy to deal with the alignment issues and lateral compartment disease. But when I got into the knee as part of an arthroscopic assessment in 2014 he sadly had a very worn medial compartment, so we abandoned the idea of an osteotomy as he had in effect tri-compartmental disease. Clive didn’t get a huge amount of benefit from the arthroscopy which was no great surprise, so in 2016 we went for a total knee replacement.”

After his surgery, the first thing Clive noticed when he stood up for the first time was how level he felt on his new knee and how his hip muscles didn’t hurt anymore.

He said: “My late mother had the same problem as me. She had both her knees replaced 18 months apart and went dancing after recovery 3 times a week.

“As she lived with me and my son I got to see how it can change your life so I knew this was the right decision I was making – pain-free sitting, standing and sleeping – so I expected to be more comfortable at the very least.”

Clive hired an ice machine for the first month after the surgery and used cling film to wrap over the scar when he took a shower.

“If you are in the same situation that I was, don’t be terrified of having the surgery. It’s really not that bad – straightaway you notice the difference. Do your exercises and go with it. I was walking three miles a day after two months.”

Adrian was delighted to hear that, at his 18 month follow-up, Clive was ecstatic about the results of his surgery and described the decision to have the operation as the best thing he had ever done.

Adrian said: “He walks now without pain, having had decades of really severe discomfort and he is enjoying being pain-free on the left side. I would have liked to have done something ‘joint-preserving’ here, but given that he had disease in all three compartments I decided that total knee replacement was the best way to go. Although he is fairly young we do hopefully get as much as 20 years out of a knee replacement now before we need to think about a revision. This has proven to be an excellent decision for Clive.”

Clive has already been back to Adrian to discuss the options for his right knee which he believes has a torn meniscus on the inside and is wearing out similarly to his left knee.

Jan 2018

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Adrian sees patients in London, Hampshire and Windsor.

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