Rotating knee replacement surgery: David's story
Find out how an innovative type of knee replacement allowed karate instructor David to get back to the sport he loves
David's symptoms and journey to diagnosis
David is an active and committed karate professional who has competed internationally since he was a teenager. When he was only fourteen, David had cartilage repair surgery to treat a football injury that tore his cartilage and caused his knee to lock. In his early 30s, David's developed arthritis, affecting his ability to compete and to teach karate to a high standard. Although David had physiotherapy and medication to manage his symptoms, his knee pain became progressively worse, and he worried his career would come to a premature end as a result.
For many people, a combination of physiotherapy and medication is enough to resolve joint pain. But, if your joint pain is severe and long-lasting, surgery can be the best solution for distressing symptoms. David was told by his doctor that he would need surgery to properly treat his arthritis.
How did David hear about Circle Health Group?
David knew of a fellow karate instructor who had had successful fixed knee replacement surgery and had known David's soon-to-be surgeon, Mr Michael Edwards. This inspired him to research our hospital and the procedure for over a year before eventually arranging a consultation with Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr Michael Edwards (known as Mike). He says:
"I was put in touch with Mike Edwards after being told he was one of the top surgeons to perform rotating knee replacement surgery in the UK. Mike explained the surgery to me and why it would help improve my situation. He told me that this type of replacement suits more active people, and it would make an enormous difference to my balance and mobility - and he was right, it has."
What is rotating platform knee replacement surgery?
Rotating knee replacement surgery is a brilliant option for highly active people and avid sport players.
During traditional knee replacement surgery, your consultant will remove the damaged parts of your knee joint and replace them with an implant (usually made of ceramic, metal, or a combination of the two). This implant helps your knee move back and forth smoothly and freely - you might also hear people call it an artificial joint or a new knee.
During rotating platform knee replacement surgery, your consultant will replace your knee with a different kind of implant, which is intended to replicate your natural knee motion even more closely. The fitting process is based on your exact anatomy to achieve this. This means the implant not only swings back and forth, but also rotates inwards and outwards in a twisting motion.
It is important to remember that traditional knee replacements are highly effective treatment options for several knee pain conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Rotating knee replacement surgery is simply better suited to people who are extremely active and intend to be soon after they have recovered from surgery. For example, professional karate players like David.
If you are unsure whether rotating knee replacement surgery is the best option for you, speak with your consultant about the procedure in more detail. They will be able to answer any questions you might have about it.
David’s treatment with Mr Mike Edwards and his team
David was delighted to learn that Mr Edwards also has a black belt in karate, and so understood David's passion for the martial art, and his desire to get back teaching professionally as soon as possible. He was also extremely impressed by Mr Edward's quality of care and sense of understanding. He says:
"He was so supportive throughout the entire process. He's clearly a highly skilled surgeon, because he understood exactly what I wanted from surgery and how he would need to get there. He's very easy to talk to, and put me at ease from day one, even when we were emailing back and forth while I was researching the surgery.
"He had the answers to all my questions, and he made me feel so supported and informed going into such a major and relatively unusual procedure. I've been so fortunate to have someone who is so highly qualified and who works to such a high standard."
It wasn't just Mr Edwards who made David feel at ease. He had a team of skilled and caring healthcare professionals around him while in hospital, who made sure he was comfortable and supported during surgery and after when he was resting in his private room. He says:
"I was supported by everyone. My lovely nurses were on hand after surgery to help me feel comfortable. When I was in pain, they helped me get into more comfortable positions, and they tried lots of different options to manage my pain levels - which were high when my knees started to regain feeling after surgery.
"I was given pain relief through a morphine injection in my thigh, which helped me relax. My whole healthcare team were brilliant. My anaesthetist asked me questions about karate to put my mind at ease when I went into theatre. My physiotherapist was so friendly and committed and helped me walk with my frame and crutches as soon as I could."
David’s time in hospital and his recovery
David was only in hospital for one night after surgery. Soon after he awoke from surgery and his pain levels were managed, David was encouraged to leave his bed and walk across the room using a walking frame. He was helped by two physiotherapists, who also showed him tailored exercises to increase his range of motion and flexibility.
Our team was happy for him to leave at six o'clock the evening after surgery, equipped with a bespoke physiotherapy plan to follow at home, crutches, and tailored advice to help aid his recovery.
David found his brief time in hospital comfortable, despite having had major surgery. He says: "My private hospital room was smashing. It was comfortable and I had everything I needed. The food options were brilliant, though I didn't have time to have dinner, which was disappointing!"
Recovering at home
David diligently followed his physiotherapy plan online every day three times a day for six weeks. He had regular follow-up appointments with his physiotherapy team and with Mr Edwards to ensure he was recovering as quickly and safely as possible. He says:
"I was back teaching in six weeks, although I slowly eased into it. When I saw Mike after eight weeks for my follow-up appointment, he was blown away by my progress. He even filmed me doing some kicks and stances, because he was so impressed by how far I'd come."
David is still teaching karate and successfully running his business full-time. His fitness levels are improving every day, and he can't stress enough just how much the surgery has saved his career. He would recommend rotating knee replacement surgery to anyone with similar needs to his.
Would you like to know more about rotating knee replacement surgery?
If you would like to know more about rotating knee replacement surgery, you can call our friendly advisory team for more details, or book an appointment with us online.