CASE STUDY

Jill’s advanced osteoarthritis required a total knee replacement to get her back into action

Jill, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People volunteer trainer

Consultant: Rishi Chana

Treatment: Knee replacement

Jill’s constant knee pain was preventing her from enjoying daily life and her role as a volunteer trainer for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

64-year-old Jill  began experiencing problems with her right knee which was prone to ‘lock’ and cause considerable pain, which had continued for around 18 months.  Initially this was thought to be a torn meniscus and Jill and was initially referred to physiotherapy.

 

The impact on her life was significant and by September 2018 she was having difficulty walking more than a very short distance and was in considerable pain.  Stairs involved one step at a time keeping her bad leg straight. Jill and her husband train dogs for the Charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and she found she was unable to undertake these responsibilities without a considerable degree of discomfort.  The same was true of daily activities around the house and garden.

 

Jill continued with physiotherapy (knee classes) but she sought Mr Chana’s opinion, informally, as he was also treating her husband.  He suggested Jill have an MRI scan and come back to see him. He diagnosed advanced osteoarthritis and described it as a “sad old knee” with precious little cartilage left in it.   Following this, Jill had a steroid injection which improved things for a while, but by early Spring 2019 the pain and discomfort was recurring and following a further consultation it was decided that a total knee replacement with relining of the kneecap was the appropriate treatment.

 

Jill’s recovery went well and Mr Chana commented that at 10 weeks post op. he had seen patients at 6 months who had not done as well as Jill had. In particular her flexibility and general mobility was very impressive.  Jill was able to bend her knee to 135 degrees, which both Mr Chana and Jill’s physio said was ‘exceptional’.

 

Jill explains how hard she had worked to get this result:

“I have pushed the pain barrier doing my exercises to get to this point!  There is still considerable pain and some swelling at times, particularly if I sit for too long, but once I get moving again it improves and I expect this to reduce over time with appropriate exercise.  At 3 months post-op I can now walk reasonably comfortably and quite briskly for 40-45 minutes including hills and rough terrain, though downhill can be painful still.”

 

Jill has the following advice for patients with similar problems: “Don’t leave it too late as you may lose muscle due to immobility and it’s really important to have strong thigh muscles in order to keep the knee supported post-op.  Mr Chana advised me to strengthen my thigh muscles pre-op which I did with specific exercises and this has helped greatly in recovery post-op. Keeping up with the exercises really helps even though it can be very painful at times in the early stages due to the scar tissue.  As they say, no pain no gain and the sooner one can get the knee moving the better. Don’t be frightened to use your leg and get the flexibility going in the early stages as this will stand you in good stead for the future.”

 

Jill says of her treatment with Mr Chana: “I echo my husband’s observations about the overall experience with Mr Chana.  I too have found him to be very approachable and helpful and have always felt I have been in safe hands. He kept in touch post-op, phoning me at home to check how I was getting on and said do not hesitate to call him if I am worried about anything.”   

 

Mr Chana concludes: “I am delighted Jill has done so well after her knee replacement, which is in part due to the considerable effort she has put in to her recovery. Well done Jill and I wish you well with your continued recovery.”

June 2019

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