Spire Washington Hospital carries out its first Computer-Aided Knee Replacement Surgery

February 2010

63 year old Stan Lamb is a successful businessman having helped grow his company, Solvent Resource Management Ltd., into a multi-million pound organisation. However, for five years, Stan has been hampered with a badly arthritic right knee which has resulted in him becoming all but desk-bound. Having to on-site manage across three chemical plants demands his mobility; this is why he turned to Spire Washington Hospital to get him back on his feet.

Despite being a heavyweight in business, when it came to operations, Stan was left weak at the knees. He subsequently tried to overcome the pain through a course of prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs. However, Stan was conscious that long-term use meant that he was more susceptible to adverse side-effects including stomach cramps. Mindful of this and with the drugs only providing limited pain relief, Stan revisited his GP. He was subsequently referred to Mr Longstaff, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Spire Washington Hospital.

Stan comments: “The pain was too great to dismiss and I had to resort to a walking aid to get around. My job is demanding and I’m often required to climb storage tank stairs to aid inspection of the chemical plants and also need to interact with the whole workforce, including administration, operational and engineering professionals. This meant that I needed to be highly mobile. I knew that surgery was the only option available and I was keen to get on my feet quickly with minimal disruption.”

During his consultation in August with Mr Longstaff, Stan was informed about a new operation for knee replacement surgery that could improve accuracy of the operation and his longer-term prognosis. The computer-aided knee replacement operation can rehabilitate patients quicker as it provides greater visualisation for surgeons to better align and position the knee implant.

Mr Longstaff explains: “Stan was a suitable candidate as he is still fairly young and wanted to get back to work quickly. Using a computer connected to a surgical infrared  camera, we can track and monitor the operation to ensure increased accuracy of alignment. Longer term outcomes are likely to be improved due to more accurate alignment and the patient can be quickly rehabilitated.

Stan underwent surgery on the 5th September 2009, was back at home on the 8th and returned to work six weeks after the procedure. Apprehensive about the operation, Stan was reassured by the nursing team and his consultant, who provided  an in-depth explanation about what the operation entailed. Post-surgery, Stan was assessed and allowed to return home on the third day. He now undergoes regular physiotherapy sessions at the Spire Washington Hospital to help ensure that the knee is functioning properly.

Stan concludes: “The whole service at Spire Washington Hospital was first-class. I was really nervous about surgery, but the team rallied around and instantly reassured me. I didn’t feel any pain after surgery, was back on my feet in no time and a game of golf is just around the corner. Despite my initial fears of surgery, I had a very pleasant experience.”

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