My name is Marion Denton and my story starts back in October 2014 when I felt my first symptom – really strong pain in my knee and lower back. I had it for a long period of time, before I searched for help. The initial investigations showed that I had osteoarthritis. First of all I had an Arthroscopy, but it didn’t help me at all, and I was living in constant pain. It the NHS was just seeing how long, from having the first bad attack, they could delay replacing the knee as I was young to have it done (I was 63 years old - ha ha!).
At the time I was working full-time, so I had a private medical insurance and decided to use it and go via the private care route, because the pain got really persistent. I went to Spire London East (Spire Roding back then), who is my local private hospital. I did my research and got fantastic feedback about Mr Sunil Kumar - Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon specialising in knee surgery.
After my first appointment with Mr Kumar, he referred me for an X-Ray and MRI scan. The imaging results confirmed I needed a total knee replacement, and the operation was scheduled for three weeks later. Mr Kumar took the time to explain all the pros and cons and the limitations of what a new knee would mean. With him as my consultant, I felt really secure and reassured by his expert opinion and impeccable reputation. Knowing that one of the best Orthopaedic Surgeons in East London will take care of my knee put me at ease and I wasn’t that anxious any more.
Although my first operation was as a private patient and the second one as an NHS patient, my experience of care and clinical quality was the same. The difference was the speed in which I could be out of pain and back up and running. In my opinion, having an orthopaedic operation in a private hospital really makes a difference. The room, which I had just for myself, was spotless and tidy. Right from the reception team, through the anaesthetist to the housekeeping staff, everyone was great and made my stay in the hospital as comfortable as it could have been!
Mr Kumar really managed my expectations; he guided me through the whole process and after the operation left me in the exceptionally capable hands of Spire London East physiotherapy team, who got me up the next day. I was in-patient for three days with each knee, and both times I was able to walk out of the hospital. The physiotherapy support I got before and after the operation, along with the great pain management, made this possible.
My recovery period was about three months with each knee. I was sent home with painkillers, ice packs and guidance for exercises. Movement was getting better progressively, and by the time of my first follow-up appointment with Mr Kumar, my knee was better than expected. I had another follow-up three months later and then went straight back to work full-time. I couldn’t have done it without the great support I’ve got from my amazing consultant and physiotherapists at Spire London East.
The all-inclusive package price, which I believe is something only Spire London East offers locally, saved me all the worries of how many physiotherapy sessions I might need and how much these would cost me, because they were already included in the price I was given for my surgery. So basically, if I needed my stay in the hospital extended, I wouldn’t have to pay anything in addition, and I got my unlimited physiotherapy for as long as I needed it. I think this all-inclusive price is brilliant, because as a patient, it saves you quite a lot of stress and worry – the last thing you need when recovering from an operation is the worry about your hospital bill!
My only regret is that I didn’t do the operation sooner. The procedure itself took about an hour and a half, but the positive impact it had on my lifestyle is enormous. Now I can do things like going to the beach and walking on sand, I can walk up hills, take the dogs out, and go to shopping centers; everyday things I couldn’t do before, because the pain was limiting my life that much. Now that I’m out of pain, people are actually telling me I look younger and the feeling is really great.
My advice to others, who are considering having a total knee replacement, is that it’s not going to be like your own knee, but the improvement is worth all of the pain you go through, because you will be pain free in the end. Don’t wait too long, as you get older the chances that you can’t have it done get greater. Go for it, I can’t see a downside.