Orthopaedic surgery: Mrs Garrety's story.

Mrs Brenda Garrety had a knee replacement performed by Mr Tim Green and ankle surgery undertaken by Mr Maneesh Bhatia during 2013.

"I can walk the whole length and back of the Highcross Shopping Centre, I can drive and for me things are back to normal"

Two weeks before being admitted to Spire by Orthopaedic surgeon Mr Tim Green for a total knee replacement on her left leg, whilst getting out of bed and putting her ‘good’ leg and foot to the floor, Mrs Garrety felt the most horrendous pain in her ankle.

As an ex nurse with many years working in the medical field, Mrs Garrety suspected she might have gout and, concerned about her impending knee operation, went into Spire Leicester to see Mr Green very quickly. Mr Green had an X-ray taken whereupon he discounted gout and referred Mrs Garrety straight on to Mr Bhatia, a foot and ankle specialist.  The X-ray had revealed that the right tibialis posterior tendon was very badly torn in three places. Mrs Garrety was aware that because of her existing knee problems she had been walking badly for some time, but this news was devastating.

Now Mrs Garrety had problems with both legs - her knee, which needed replacing, and the ankle on her other leg which was very swollen and painful. As Mrs Garrety said, “It was a real mess!”

Ankle surgery had to wait though; in order to sort out her ankle, Mrs Garrety needed to have two good knees. The knee replacement had to be done first, so Mrs Garrety came into hospital for her knee operation as scheduled. Despite the additional complication of acute pain in the ankle of her right leg, with her complete focus on rehabilitating her knee and making sure she undertook her physiotherapy exercises religiously, Mrs Garrety achieved 90% movement with her new knee after just four weeks and says: “The care I received from Tim  Green was fantastic.”

Four months after her knee replacement, Mrs Garrety returned to Spire for Mr Bhatia to repair and reconstruct  her ankle tendon  - a Calcaneal osteotomy and tibialis posterior reconstruction.

Normally this operation would be performed with one incision through the front of foot however, due to bad arthritis, surgery had to be performed through two incisions either side of the ankle.

Mrs Garrety spent two nights in hospital before being going home armed with a wheelchair, seat raisers, crutches and a Zimmer frame. Then, after the stitches were removed and the swelling sufficiently reduced, Mrs Garrety’s lower leg was plastered. 

Mrs Garrety spent the next six weeks where she was not allowed to put her repaired foot to the floor.

Mrs Garrety was in her own words “expecting it to be agony”;  however, she was amazed at how little pain she felt. Her greatest problem was the inconvenience and frustration of not being able to put her foot to the floor and her greatly restricted mobility for the six weeks following surgery.

Again, working closely with the hospital’s physiotherapists, Mrs Garrety did all the exercises and worked really hard on her rehabilitation.

And the outcome? Mrs Garrety is delighted.

“My ankle is back to normal, the scar is incredible. You can hardly see it; when you look at both my ankles now, you’d never know. The physio couldn’t believe I had no swelling in my toes!

"I can walk the whole length and back of the Highcross Shopping Centre. I can drive and for me things are back to normal after six months -  I was expecting it to be at least a year!

"Mr Bhatia did a fantastic job, I’m walking perfectly now.”

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