Mr Nikhil Pradhan, Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon first met John Kowalczyk when he came for a consultation at Spire Cheshire Hospital. John was a young gentleman with pain in his knee who had received many differing opinions about his treatment options. He had osteoarthritis of his knee and the pain and stiffness from his knee were affecting his daily activities and his sleeping pattern had been altered.

Considering his young age and increased demands on his knee he was keen to get a solution that would allow him to continue with his job and give him a pain free knee. He was a good candidate for the iASSIST Total knee replacement.

Traditional knee replacement may use instruments placed inside the thigh or shin bone to assist with alignment and positioning. The iASSIST alignment pods are placed outside of the bone, potentially allowing a less invasive procedure. The iASSIST also allows the surgeon to check if the alignment is correct whilst in surgery using the validation pods. Patients may therefore benefit from reduced blood loss and complications such as fat embolism minimising their stay in hospital and increasing rate of recovery.

“I first became aware that something was quite wrong with my knee probably ten years ago, every time I knelt down for any reason I got the feeling I was kneeling on a drawing pin," says John.

“I thought I better do something about it about, so two years ago had a procedure called a keyhole flush at a local hospital. In my opinion this procedure made me more aware of the pain as I had very little, if any, cartilage left in the joint afterwards.

“I spent the next two years asking questions, having tests and being told that I was too young to have a knee replacement as I could be left crippled due to a family inherited disease called Charcot-Marie-Tooth. The pain was really bothering me so I wanted to proceed anyway, however  at every stage I was being put off and eventually told by a surgeon at another hospital that he would not carry out the procedure.

“I asked my insurance company if I could have a second opinion and I chose to visit Spire Cheshire Hospital after my partner was told that Mr Nikhil Pradhan, consultant orthopaedic surgeon, was a specialist in knee procedures.

“On contacting Spire Cheshire Hospital I was given an appointment with Mr Nikhil Pradhan. Following his initial examination he immediately sent me for an X-ray and 20 minutes later he was showing me my knee joint on his computer. He asked me several questions about my medical history, working history and current employment and told me it was clear I needed surgery. 

“Mr Pradhan told me that I could have a new procedure called an iASSIST knee replacement which was less intrusive and explained all the details of the procedure to me. Mr Pradhan was fantastic, he arranged a surgery date for me and I felt relieved that finally I would have some relief from the pain I was experiencing.

“One week prior to my surgery I had a meeting with a member of the hospital physiotherapy team. They were very professional and explained about the work I need to do after the procedure to enhance my recovery and also what to expect after surgery.

“Within four days of physiotherapy, good food and rest, which had always been the planned stay in the hospital, I was walking out to my partner’s car to go home. I was armed with a full set of physiotherapy exercises to do at home and telephone numbers in case I needed any help from the nurses or physiotherapists.

“Within two weeks I didn’t need the crutches although I did have to take it easy!

“After seven weeks I had completely stopped all pain killers and my leg is feeling pretty good. The physiotherapists have been monitoring my progress at my post-surgery appointments and I have gained movement in my left knee that I haven’t experienced for years!

“I am writing this account nine weeks after my operation. I have now been back at work two weeks, after a progressive phased return. I would like to thank Mr Pradhan and all the staff at Spire Cheshire Hospital for making the whole experience much more pleasant. The quality of food was fantastic and cleanliness of my room and the hospital was second to none.

“I would definitely recommend Mr Pradhan and Spire Cheshire Hospital to anyone in a similar situation to myself. My advice would be don’t wait until the pain gets worse, make an appointment to see a specialist consultant like Mr Pradhan who can advise you on your treatment options and relieve your pain.”

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