Patient story: New Signature™ Knee replacement surgery

John Ashby is a 63-year-old active man, working full-time in a solicitor’s firm in Stockton Heath during the week, while enjoying walks in the Cheshire countryside at the weekend and entertaining his grandchildren in the holidays.

"I have complete confidence with Mr Pradhan and the staff at Spire Cheshire Hospital"
John Ashby, Signature™ Knee surgery patient

However, after suffering sharp pain in his left knee during several of his walks last September, the enjoyment of his social activities was quickly replaced by severe discomfort that worsened to the point that he couldn’t walk without pain.

Suffering in silence for a month, John finally ventured to see his GP following a health assessment at Spire Cheshire Hospital.

X-rays at the local NHS hospital revealed severe arthritis in his left knee. He was recommended knee replacement surgery, but wasn’t keen to wait for four months for surgery and he wanted to guarantee that he had the best surgeon and minimise the need for future surgery.

John was referred to see Mr Nikhil Pradhan, who practices at Spire Cheshire Hospital. During the consultation, Mr Pradhan confirmed that knee replacement surgery was necessary and informed him of a new treatment that was available that could potentially help him regain his mobility and improve the positioning of his knee implant compared to traditional surgery.

The Signature™ Knee procedure involves an MRI scan of the hip, knee and ankle which provides the surgeon with detailed images of the patient’s knee anatomy. An exact 3D model of the knee can then be created to help decide the size of implant needed and the positioning of the implant. A customised jig is then made to support implant positioning during the operation. 

Mr Pradhan comments: “The operation takes about an hour to perform and is less invasive than traditional surgery as it doesn’t require alignment rods being inserted in the bone canals of the thigh and leg. The patient specific customised jig enables me to make minimal cuts and position the knee implant accurately in relation to the three dimensional anatomy and to the mechanical axis of leg. In comparison to computer navigated surgery, there is less risk of bone fracture, as there is no need for marker pins and surgical time is reduced. All these advantages have the potential to reduce the need for further surgery in the future.”

“In John’s case, he is still quite young and is keen to return to work quickly and minimise the need for further surgery. As the procedure can be performed under local anaesthetic, the recovery tends to be quicker and I encourage patients to be on their feet walking within hours of surgery. I like to ensure that my patients are completely independent when discharging them, which involves extensive physiotherapy and rehabilitation, with the patient walking unaided within a month.”

After the operation John plans to work from home for four weeks post-surgery so that he can do physiotherapy exercises in the comfort of his own home.

John comments: “While I was slightly apprehensive at first about the treatment, I have complete confidence with Mr Pradhan and the staff at Spire Cheshire Hospital. They have given me hope that I will be able to enjoy my walks and my grandchildren’s company, without pain and fear of further incapacity.” 

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Signature™ alignment guides

Fig 1.
Femoral alignment guide
Fig 2.
Tibial alignment guide

Guides are placed on the femur and tibia, the new knee is then positioned to your anatomy.

Read more about the Signature™ knee replacement

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)