15th September 2009
A keen amateur sportsman is on the road to recovery after undergoing surgery in Bristol for what is thought to be the region’s first-ever knee cartilage transplant.
Accountant Stuart Mayling, 39, underwent the ground breaking procedure to receive the new knee cartilage, known as the meniscus, at the Spire Bristol Hospital, the Glen.
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon David Johnson, who specialises in knee surgery and carried out the procedure, said: “Many years ago Stuart underwent surgery to totally remove his meniscus, or knee cartilage, but was never warned of the long term consequences and returned to competitive sports including rugby, soccer, cricket and basketball.
“Increasingly over the last few years he experienced more pain swelling and stiffness in his left knee, and eventually his doctor referred him to me.”
Scans and examinations revealed that, despite Stuart’s young age and active lifestyle, his knee was painful because of early degeneration or arthritis where the cartilage had been removed.
“After extensive discussions it was decided to perform the ground breaking procedure of knee cartilage transplantation so that the buffer could be restored between the two arthritic bones,” said Mr Johnson.
The four hour knee transplantation took place in Spire Bristol Hospital and Mr Mayling, who was up on his feet with crutches the following day and was able to go home after two nights, said: “I knew I had an increasing problem with my knee but I did not want to give in to the arthritis.
“Mr Johnson explained the options and introduced the possibility of new knee cartilage rather than a replacement or artificial knee at my age.”
He added: “I needed to get back to work soon, so decided to opt for the transplantation. I know that there will be a period of several weeks’ rehabilitation and physiotherapy but I am looking forwards to returning to the gym.”
Mr Johnson, who said he believed this to be the first procedure of its kind in Bristol and the South West, added: “This is a particularly difficult procedure to perform and on this occasion took over four hours to complete, so many thanks to all the staff at Spire Bristol Hospital who worked hard to make this happen safely and successfully.”