Christine's next door neighbour had already had a knee replacement, several years ago, and was more than happy to point Christine in the direction of Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr Nikhil Pradhan who carried out the operation.
Grand-mother Christine, who lives in Appleton near Warrington, explained: “I was sure I needed replacement surgery but my dilemma was who I should go to. It was then that I remembered that Ian, my next door neighbour, told me how good a recovery he had made after surgery by Mr Pradhan, several years ago.
“At our first meeting I knew he was the right surgeon for me. In fact I was so convinced that I decided to have both knees replaced in the same operation.”
Mr Pradhan, who practices at Spire Cheshire Hospital in Warrington, said: “Not all patients are suitable for a double knee or bi-lateral replacement but in this case I thought it would provide the best outcome and quickest recovery for the patient.
“I used the iASSIST knee system as this doesn’t require complex imaging equipment or additional surgical incisions.”
The procedure involves the surgeon attaching a 2-3cm pod to a tiny 1cm spike at the bottom of the thigh bone. The pod contains a sensor that responds to movement, like the sensors in a smartphone which turn the text the right way up when you turn the phone on its side.
The pod then transmits information via bluetooth wire-free technology which communicates to a computer - to help the surgeon pinpoint exactly where to position the new knee joint. The surgeon then moves the patient’s knee through 12 positions and the computer calculates when the joint is in the correct place.
“It is important that the patient follows the full course of physiotherapy advised but, if that is the case then they should go on to a full recovery that really will improve their quality of life,” added Mr Pradhan.
As for Christine, she said: “I went into hospital bent over, in pain, and leaning on my son’s arm, barely able to walk . Then, even on the day of the op , I was able to weight bear on my legs, and with the help of the frame and crutches, I was stood upright and walking around virtually pain free.
“Things continued to improve with physiotherapy, and within three weeks I was crutch free and in just five weeks I was back driving my car! I really do feel like I have my life back again. If I have a regret it is that I didn’t have it done years ago. I will certainly be giving that advice in future to any of my friends who are suffering with their joints. Life is too short to be in pain when you can actually do something about it.”