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.
– 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
I am 63 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. It took me a long time to get over the operation and the surgeon said that I would need a knee replacement within 5 to 10 years. 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 as I had just started a new job and couldn’t take the time off. In November 2017, I was made redundant and felt that this was the time to have the operation. The pain was getting worse. 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 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 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 in an NHS centre of excellence with an excellent surgeon. I had the luxury of being able to pay for my physiotherapy and hydrotherapy. My husband and younger daughter who both work full time could help look after me after the operation. I’ve lived all over England and don’t really come from anywhere but I have been in the same house in London for over twenty five years and have a wide circle of friends and neighbours who could provide a network of support.