WHY I WROTE THIS BLOG
I’ve had a total knee replacement and it’s been very successful. I can now walk pain free and my leg is straight. I wanted to document my experiences to
– help other patients who may be contemplating a similar operation by sharing my experience
– articulate how an operation feels from a patient point of view.
-before my operation, I wanted to read information like this, but I couldn’t find any
-give advice on cooking and eating after an operation as I trained at Leiths School of Food and Wine and have worked as a professional cook
I felt that it was important to prepare for a major operation by examining my diet, exercise and by keeping occupied and living life to the full
-to keep as active as possible
-to follow advice to best aid my recovery and rehabilitation.
I wanted to include photographs
– to show how time passed during the year by the changing seasons
-to anchor the experience of the operation into my life and my environment
-to be mindful and to appreciate the beauty of the world around us from a pot of flowers, to views of London where I live and to the countryside beyond
I am 62 years old and live in London with my husband and my younger adult daughter.
I had first been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my left knee in November 2009 after an arthroscopy and I managed the pain with medicine prescribed by my GP. In June 2014, I first saw a consultant orthopaedic surgeon because the pain had increased and was then referred to another consultant in the same hospital to consider a partial knee replacement. I decided I didn’t want to have the operation at that stage.
In April 2016, I saw a consultant orthopaedic surgeon who advised that I now needed a total knee replacement but I decided not to go ahead. In November 2017, I was made redundant and felt that this was the time to have the operation. It had come to the point where I didn’t feel I could manage a commute on the tube or train and a walk to any potential new office. It was time to act and to seek help.
In December 2017, I went to see my GP who referred me back to my local NHS hospital. Only my husband really knew the effect that the osteoarthritis was having on me as I tried to conceal it as much as I could. My knee was swollen and permanently bent; I was in pain and I limped and sometimes I fell over. My world was shrinking, however hard I tried to ignore the symptoms. I was finding I could do less and less and I was losing the freedom both to work and to live my life to the full that comes with being able to walk painfree.
I had an outpatient consultation with a consultant orthopaedic surgeon in April 2018 and the operation at the end of June 2018.
I lead a fortunate life and I realise this. I had my operation on the NHS in a centre of excellence with a brilliant surgeon. I had the luxury of being able to pay for my physiotherapy and hydrotherapy. But this is a simple account of how it all was for me. It’s not all my life story of the year since my total knee replacement, but it is honest.