With the Tour de France nearly upon us, we take a look at a cycling enthusiast's partial knee replacement which put him on the road to recovery.
The knee is one of the most commonly affected joints of osteoarthritis and can hinder both young and old.1
Mr Sandeep Chauhan, consultant orthopaedic knee specialist at the Spire Montefiore Hospital, Hove, says: "Around 35,000 people in the United Kingdom suffer with debilitating arthritis within their knees and often this requires a total or partial knee replacement."
David Butler, a very active patient in his early 50's, suffered ongoing pain for around 12 years before finally undergoing unicompartmental (partial) knee replacement surgery in November 2013 at the Montefiore Hospital, under the care of Mr Chauhan. For Mr Butler, a keen cyclist as well as a fitness coach, it was felt that surgery was the best option available to reduce pain and improve mobility to fit his active lifestyle.
Mr Chauhan advises: "Unicompartmental knee replacement surgery allows surgeons to work with very small incisions, which enables patients to return to activities much more quickly than patients who have had total knee replacement surgery."
Mr Chauhan utilises advanced technology during surgery to accurately position the implants specifically to the individual patient, ensuring consistency and reproducibility. The results reported in a major combined British/European orthopaedic meeting in June 2014 showed that not only do patients gain the expected rapid short-term recovery, but the five-year results do show superior outcomes over conventional techniques.2
Mr Butler, who owns his own cycling and fitness coach business 48PTC, says: "I had been living with increasing amounts of pain and discomfort that had begun to affect my passion for cycling, not to mention impacting my professional life as a fitness coach.
"Following my consultation, Mr Chauhan recommended unicompartmental knee replacement surgery. It was good to know that there was an alternative to a total knee replacement procedure. I felt all options were discussed thoroughly ensuring I was offered the right solution to fit me personally.
"The operation itself was absolutely fine. The hospital is excellent with fantastic facilities and is very comfortable.
"The staff were extremely caring and informative and I felt supported from start to finish. I'd like to especially thank the nurses and physiotherapists who aided me post-surgery.
"Of course some pain is to be expected following an operation, but once I was home I ditched the crutches, did the exercises as recommended by the physiotherapist and within one week I was back to work.
"Within five weeks I was increasing my activity levels and was even able to ski. I was back on the road cycling again after two months and within five months had climbed the Pyrenees as part of 300km cycling tour. I am now no longer in pain, have improved movement, am cycling more efficiently and comfortably and have no need for inflammatories.
"My advice for anyone considering similar surgery is to find the surgeon you feel comfortable with, even if it takes several referrals. Be positive and embrace the rehabilitation exercises, be fit and strong before surgery and set goals to work towards with your recovery."
Mr Chauhan has regular clinics at the Spire Montefiore Hospital in Hove. For further information on the hospital or this procedure, please call 01273 828148.
2 Efortnet, Unicompartmental Prosthesis, Amin Kheiran, 5th June 2014