Mark Asquith - knee arthroscopy

Mark Asquith, professional gardener, had a knee arthroscopy at Spire Leeds Hospital under the care of Mr Stuart Calder.

"If I hadn't been able to have it done privately, it might have been a long wait"
Mark Asquith, Cookridge
Mark Asquith had a knee arthroscopy at Spire Leeds Hospital

Knees are more likely to be injured than any other joint in the body. And, when you look at what they do, it is no surprise. Not only is the knee one of the body's main weight-bearing joints, it is also a very complex one. It simultaneously rolls, slides and rotates, while supporting our body weight at the same time.

We often take our knees for granted until something happens to them that causes pain. That was the case for professional gardener Mark Asquith. As he tended to the extensive seven-acre landscaped grounds of Spire Leeds Hospital little did he know that he would soon exchange his flower beds for a hospital bed. The 44-year-old father of two from Cookridge, Leeds, and owner of Cookridge Garden Services, suffered with a painful knee for four months and was taking a cocktail of painkillers to manage the worsening condition. As he is self-employed, taking a long period of time off work to manage the problem was not an option for Mark. Then one day he was forced to do something about it. 

It happened during celebrations for his 15th wedding anniversary with his family at a Leeds restaurant. “I stood up and my knee gave way. It was a searing pain. So severe, I could not move,” said Mark.

Mark was taken to the A & E department at a local hospital and then referred to a GP who advised him there would be a three-week wait for a consultation. That’s when Mark decided to go to Spire Leeds Hospital for private treatment arranging an appointment for the following day. Orthopaedic consultant, Stuart Calder, who specialises in knee injuries, diagnosed a large tear of the medial meniscus cartilage in the knee. He performed keyhole surgery – an arthroscopy of the knee - the same day.

“I was surprised when Mr. Calder said he could do the surgery the same day,” said Mark. “If I hadn’t been able to have it done privately I might have had a long wait when I would not able to work and that’s not an option when you have your own business,” added Mark, who returned to his gardening work just two weeks after his surgery in April 2012. “I’m delighted with the results and for the first time in months I’m pain free,” he added.

Mr Calder, commenting on the procedure, said, “Mr. Asquith was suffering from severe acute symptoms and needed urgent treatment.  The pain had been grumbling on for months, but then became very severe after he twisted it getting out of a chair, quite a common cause of cartilage tears, at which point the knee locked. Mr. Asquith was then unable to work or walk properly. Because the knee was locked, we proceeded immediately to arthroscopy without the need for an MRI scan.”

He added, “Meniscus cartilage tears are common and usually cause pain and swelling. Large tears such as this can trap in the knee, causing locking, clunking and catching. Unfortunately large tears rarely heal by themselves, so can cause ongoing problems unless treated. I’m pleased that Mr. Asquith has been able to return to full activities and to his much appreciated work looking after the gardens at Spire.”

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