12 April 2017
When company director Rob Francis was getting so much pain from his knee that he had to give up golf and the gym he realised he needed to get something done.
But at 57 years old Rob felt he was just too young to have a full knee replacement and was looking for an alternative treatment.
“I had reached the stage where I could barely walk a mile because of the pain. After having such an active life I found I had to give up a lot of the things that I enjoyed doing and were keeping me fit.
“I knew I needed surgery of some kind. I just wasn’t convinced how much,” said Rob, a company director who lives in Solihull with wife Stephanie.
Rob met with orthopaedic surgeon Mr James Arbuthnot at Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull, Birmingham and, following an MRI scan, was told that although the left side of his knee was damaged the right side was in reasonable condition and could be kept if he decided on a partial knee replacement.
“This sounded like the perfect solution – I lost the pain but kept a lot of my original knee! I was also told that if or when the ‘good’ section of bone deteriorated then I could have a full replacement at that stage,” said Rob.
Mr Arbuthnot explained: “A partial knee replacement can be a very attractive option to treat knee arthritis for younger patients as the function a patient might expect could be significantly better than with a full knee replacement.
“The operation involves a lower risk of some complications such as infection and usually a significantly speedier recovery. A patient should expect the partially-replaced knee to last at least 15 years for the vast majority of people.
“If the operation does need to be “re-done” in due course, it is usually possible to change the partial knee for a standard knee replacement. This is usually a lot simpler for the patient - and the surgeon - than re-operating on a failing full knee replacement.
“A partial knee usually feels a lot more like a ‘normal’ knee than a full replacement and patients tend to be able to get back to better levels of activity.
“When replacing only the worn out part of the knee, the surgeon needs to assess the rest of the knee to ensure that it is ‘good enough’ to cope with a partial replacement. About one in four patients with knee arthritis could undergo partial rather than full knee replacement.”
Now, back at both the golf course and the gym, Rob, who had private medical insurance, said he was delighted with the results, particularly after just completing a 10-mile hike.
“I’ve been swimming and cycling on a regular basis – things I just had to stop doing before the operation. I know a partial replacement might not be the solution for everyone but it has certainly worked perfectly for me,” he said.
Rob Francis - back in his stride after knee surgery