Patient success story: Carlton Holmes' journey to recovery

21 March 2024

At Spire Little Aston Hospital, we had the opportunity to assist Carlton, an active individual whose lifestyle and work were severely affected by significant right knee pain. Carlton's case was particularly challenging due to the chronic nature of his condition, stemming from a severe injury sustained in 1984 during a motocross racing event. Despite previous surgeries and a commitment to maintaining an active lifestyle, Carlton's knee condition deteriorated over the years, leading him to seek advanced treatment options with Spire Healthcare.

Carlton recalls, "It all started in 1984 when I landed awkwardly off a jump during a Motocross Racing event, tearing my ACL and the Lateral Meniscus. Over the years, despite multiple operations, the arthritis worsened." His active life, which included cycling, mountain biking, and hill walking, was increasingly hampered by his deteriorating knee, leading him to consult with Mr Jamie Arbuthnot, our Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon. Carlton describes his knee as intermittently locking, jamming, and catching, which significantly limited his mobility and quality of life.

Faced with the harsh reality of his condition and after thorough discussions about the longevity and risks associated with knee replacement, Carlton decided to undergo a Mako robot-guided knee replacement using a cementless implant. "February 2022, I finally opted for a MAKO Robotic knee replacement as my only option left to retain my active lifestyle and protect my career," Carlton shared.

New found freedom post robotic knee replacement

Carlton’s dedication to his recovery was nothing short of remarkable. He committed to rigorous post-operative rehabilitation, performing exercises three times daily and using a cold therapy system to manage swelling and pain. "The recovery was quite hard... but early gains mean a better outcome. I had goals to meet and was happy with the outcome," he reflects. A year post-operation, Carlton's progress was impressive. He resumed hiking and can cycle covering distances up to 45 miles. Carlton is confident he can get back in to gravel racing later this year!

Carlton mountain biking and walking post robotic knee replacement surgery

Since the surgery, Carlton's life has transformed significantly. "My life is much better and pain-free now. I can now hill walk, cycle, and mountain bike pain-free. I can bend my knee almost as normal and fully straighten it," he says. Though he misses racing, Carlton finds the trade-off worth it, as he can now live without the constant reminder of his knee pain.

Advice to others

Carlton's journey is an inspiring testament to the possibilities of modern orthopaedic solutions and the importance of personal perseverance. He advises others considering surgery, "You must be prepared to do the hard work immediately post-surgery... Prepare your home, and go in with a positive, hard-working attitude."

Carlton Holmes’ story is a beacon of hope for many facing similar challenges. At Spire Little Aston Hospital, we are proud to have been a part of Carlton's journey to recovery, celebrating his newfound freedom and quality of life. His experience underscores the impact of advanced surgical techniques, dedicated post-operative care, and the indomitable spirit of patients in overcoming physical adversities.

Carlton Holmes back to hiking and pain-free after knee surgery 

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