Ski enthusiasts, couple Martin and Amanda Turner, can show off matching knee scars after the sporty pair had both suffered identical injuries on the slopes and been treated by the same specialist.
Martin is a keen sportsman, former tennis coach, avid cricket player and black-run skier, and he snapped his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) on the alpine pistes last year after landing awkwardly.
The executive producer of Sky Sports F1 knew exactly where to have the injury treated, booking an appointment at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital with consultant orthopaedic and knee surgeon Mr George Tselentakis.
Wife Amanda, also an avid skier, had suffered the same injury after falling awkwardly in the Alps four years earlier and Mr Tselentakis had successfully treated her torn ligament.
Talking of their surgery at Spire Gatwick Park, both hailed the surgeon’s expertise: “Mr Tselentakis is an excellent surgeon, I can’t fault him,” said Martin. “He explained the procedure and was clear on what needed to be done and why. I felt reassured both before and after the procedure.”
As a qualified nurse, Amanda has high expectations of hospitals. She said: “On both occasions, Martin and I found Mr Tselentakis and the medical staff at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital attentive and efficient throughout our stays and afterwards when we visited for follow-ups. He doesn’t miss a thing,” Amanda added, “and is most particular not to operate until the swelling around the area has gone down.”
Martin waited six weeks and Amanda nearly three months before Mr Tselentakis carried out the procedure – a strategy that has paid off for the pair. “In my experience of carrying out numerous such procedures they will be more effective in the long term if free of trauma so it is often better to wait a little time after the injury before operating,” he explained.
Martin, like Amanda, was given MRI scans, physiotherapy and exercises to complete pre- and post-surgery, together with several follow-ups. He was also referred to a local hydrotherapy pool to further aid his recovery.
“In most cases,” says Mr Tselentakis, “nine months after the operation the knee is fully functional – and this was so in Martin’s case.”
“I’ve just returned from another ski trip and was able to move just as I could before my fall,” reported Martin.
Both successfully treated for essentially identical injuries, Martin and Amanda have since recommended Mr Tselentakis to several friends who have sustained knee injuries while playing various sports. “One of them has since received a total knee replacement and is now mobile,” Amanda said.
The anterior cruciate ligament is a tough band of tissue joining the thigh bone to the shin bone at the knee joint. It runs diagonally through the inside of the knee and gives the knee joint stability, also helping control the back-and-forth movement of the lower leg.
Participants in high demand sports such as skiing, football, rugby and tennis are more likely to injure their ACL and this is one of the most common knee injuries for tears and sprains, with some 30 ACL injuries in every 100,000 people needing reconstruction surgery. Eight in ten cases find full functioning of the knee after surgery (Source: NHS.co.uk)