In February 2015 my knee pain got increasingly worse and I was struggling to walk or run even a short distance without severe discomfort. I had booked to do the Manchester Marathon in April 2015, but soon realised my dream of running this was impossible.
I decided to see Mr Nikhil Pradhan, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Spire Cheshire Hospital, I had seen Mr Pradhan about 5 years earlier with knee pain and at that time wanted to do an arthroscopy but I had chosen to rest up rather than go for surgery.
When I saw Mr Pradhan again in March 2015, the MRI scan showed a cartilage tear (grade 3) in my right knee and so my surgery was booked in for April. Mr Pradhan was really helpful in accommodating my work commitments with his surgery times, he booked my operation for late on a Tuesday before a Bank Holiday weekend so that I could get six days rest at home but only actually take three days off work.
All the staff at Spire Cheshire Hospital were friendly and helpful and I was in and out of the hospital that same evening.
Matthew Gouldthorpe was my physiotherapist and he was fantastic. He knew that I wanted to get back to my running and he gave me lots of good advice and strengthening exercises to do.
As I was using my left knee more I realised that there was increasing pain there too, so I mentioned this to Mr Pradhan at my right knee follow up appointment. An MRI scan was then booked for my left knee which showed I had another tear only grade 2 this time! So surgery was then booked for my left knee.
Mr Pradhan suggested that I take up Yoga – it has been the best thing I have done – it has undoubtedly helped with my core strength and improved my running form!!
More Physiotherapy with Matt followed the second operation and my left knee recovered very quickly. I was back doing my Bootcamp classes after only 3 weeks; however I was still nervous about running. In a moment of madness I booked my place for the Marathon in April 2016…it seemed quite an unrealistic goal and even Matt felt it was a long shot, but I wanted something to aim for to keep me motivated!
With Physiotherapy approval I started a couch to 5km in September 2105 and slowly built up to running a 10km in December – I was thrilled, but knew I had a very long way to go!
In January I seriously started to train increasing my miles each week and when I reached 14 miles in February Matt signed me off from my physiotherapy programme and wished me luck for my Marathon. That evening I went running –pleased to have the Physiotherapists ‘approval’, but unfortunately took a really bad fall smashing my face and scraping my knee. I then had a severe head injury and concussion and was taking painkillers for headaches for over three weeks.
My marathon training plan was yet again disastrously halted again in February and once again I was utterly devastated!
After 3 weeks of no fitness training or running I decided to just go for a little run, I was pretty shaky but I was just hoping my knees were okay and that my confidence had not completely gone. The sun was shining and I ran for nearly 3 hours – pain free and I loved it!!
So I decided to try again, it was even more of a long shot now with only 6 weeks left until the Marathon and I did not know if it was even possible!! I decided that if I could stay in one piece and reach 20 miles then I would try to run it on the day.
On the 10th April (only 10 months after my second operation) – I found myself on the start line of the Great Manchester Marathon, very nervous but excited too! I think I just was so thrilled to finally make it to the start line!! My training was about doing the miles, I knew that I would not be fast, but sub five hours was my goal…I smashed my goal and have to say it was one of the best four hours and 44mins of my life – what an achievement!! Friends and family were there to support me and share in my special day – I loved every single mile. I never ‘hit the wall’, my knees were pain free…unbelievable to achieve that in such a short space of time!!
I am still on a high weeks later and have entered the London Marathon Ballot and I would just love to get a place to run in that…fingers crossed!! I have also entered a few other races , some trail half marathons and I am even considering an Ultra for 2017 … there is no stopping me now!!
Mr Nikhil Pradhan, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Spire Cheshire Hospital said “Yvonne is a young enthusiastic patient who enjoys sporting activities and exercise regularly. She had a knee problem which was limiting her sporting activities and this can have a negative impact on all aspects of life. Arthroscopy (key-hole) surgery can offer a good solution in such patients and helps improve their symptoms and get them back to full sporting activity. I am pleased that Yvonne has had an excellent recovery and that she has managed to achieve her goal of running the marathon. We have a good team at Spire Cheshire who help in preoperative and postoperative physiotherapy and rehabilitation which is crucial to patients achieving a full recovery”