Mr Brian Matthews has had both knees replaced simultaneously at the North Wales Knee Clinic, Spire Yale Hospital, Wrexham and in double quick time! Mr Tony Smith, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Knee Specialist undertook the two hour bi-lateral knee surgery in March 2010, as part of a rapid recovery service that he has instigated. This meant that the patient was back on his feet on the day of major surgery and in hospital for a mere four days.
A Maintenance Technician at APPE for over 15 years, (a Wrexham based European plastic bottles manufacturer), Mr Matthews, 63, had suffered with knee pain for a number of years. In the spring this worsened and he knew the time had come for replacement surgery, when he was struggling to walk whilst simply routinely shopping with his wife. Mr Tony Smith explained the rapid recovery procedure clearly to him, about getting him back on his feet on the day of surgery, before they decided to go ahead with bi-lateral surgery.
Surprised that he could have both knees operated on at the same time, Mr Matthews opted for this, as it saved him six to nine months of recuperation. He has been very pleased with the outcome of his surgery and the support from his employer but thinks it is now time to be getting back to work!
The combination of the type of anaesthetic and pain relief used in the rapid recovery programme means that patients are able to get up pain free within hours of their operation. Walking with elbow crutches for the first 10 days, then onto simple walking sticks for a fortnight, Mr Matthews is now walking independently and is able to exercise much better than before. He says that the last pain he felt was before the operation; the only discomfort from the operation was minimal and lasted no longer than a couple weeks after the surgery. Now 13 weeks later, he is looking forward to walking with ease, getting back to work and to a well earned holiday in Italy.
Brian Matthews said, “My friends and family think it is amazing that I was up and about so quickly, having had both knees replaced at the same sitting. It is really great to be no longer restricted in what I do and to enjoy spending active time with my wife, my daughters and my granddaughter. I would recommend it to everyone and would be happy to go through it again, if the benefits were the same.”
Knee Specialist Mr Smith commented, “I am delighted with Mr Matthew’s excellent progress - he has done really well. The rapid recovery programme is very rewarding and represents a huge step forward for our patients requiring joint replacement surgery. Bilateral knee replacement is not suitable for everybody but for those with the right motivational and clinical attributes, it is safe, comfortable and extremely beneficial. Enhanced recovery enables patients to get back to normal activities more quickly, reduces both pain and potential post operative complications, such as deep vein thrombosis.”
For more information about the rapid recovery knee service, ring 01978 262 462 or see www.northwaleskneeclinic.co.uk