Hip and Knee replacement surgery: A patient's experience

Hip and knee replacements are very common operations in England and Wales, with around 160,000 procedures carried out every year.

The number of procedures to fit artificial joints is expected to double in the next decade, due to better diagnostics, faster treatment and the increasing age of the UK population. Joint pains that limit your mobility, hurt while you’re at rest or wake you in the night are early signs that you may be a candidate for knee or hip replacement surgery.

By choosing Spire Washington Hospital and its expert surgeons to carry out your operation, you’re putting yourself in safe hands, because Spire Healthcare has been named one of the best providers of hip and knee replacements in England by the well-respected Dr Foster Hospital Guide.

Jeff Barwick, 71, from Sunderland recently had his left knee replaced in an operation carried out by Spire Washington orthopaedic surgeon Mr Paul Dixon. Retired hairdressing teacher Jeff, who has been practising karate for around 45 years, had been suffering from pain in his left knee for a few years before opting to have it replaced.

He said: “I exercise and train quite a bit and over the last four to five months before the operation the pain got severe.

“Mr Dixon was highly recommended by two or three people and I went in to see him and decided he was the man for the job.

“It’s now seven weeks since the operation and I’m going back to karate, although I’m going to train very lightly. I have been going to the gym for three weeks doing weight-bearing exercises that the physiotherapist recommended.

“My knee feels very good, very stable and very comfortable, though obviously I’m still recovering. I saw Mr Dixon two weeks ago and I will see him again in March to get the all-clear.”

Jeff was impressed by how quickly he was able to return home after the procedure, and the excellent care he received both during and after the operation.

“I went in on the Tuesday evening and I was back out on the Thursday morning,” he said.

“The surgery team, the anaesthetist and operation assistants were great. I had a spinal anaesthetic and it was absolutely tremendous, everybody was very good, very efficient and effective. The post-op care by the nursing staff was excellent. I was up and about the next day.

“Obviously, it’s uncomfortable but I was very quickly able to get into an exercise regime. I’ve always exercised and kept fairly fit - it’s the arthritis that is most painful.”

The knee replacement wasn’t the first joint replacement that Jeff has undergone at Spire Washington. A long-time patient at the hospital, who in the past has had physiotherapy from Spire Washington’s hospital director, Shelagh Alderson, when she was still operating as a physio, he also has had both hips replaced when he was in his 50s.

Jeff said: “I had both hips replaced by Mr Buchanan at Spire Washington Hospital 20-odd years ago and they continue to serve me well. I was very young for the operation but a scan showed that it needed doing after I pushed my GP to take my investigations further.

“Mr Buchanan did a great job and I was able to return to exercising and training regularly.

“I will probably have to restrict myself a little bit with my knee now. Contact karate might be out of bounds but I still plan to enjoy regular exercise.”

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