A slip whilst walking, my knee resembles a balloon

In January 2018, I underwent a Tibial Osteotomy operation as I had been suffering from the onset of arthritis on my right knee and needed an alternative to a knee replacement operation.

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nothing like a good slip on the sidewalk !

In October 2019, I took the family to San Francisco for a 5 day break. Flying non-stop from Heathrow was great as the flight left the UK early and arriving in the USA at 1pm, this meant we still had a full day; however American immigration had other ideas as we queued for over 2 hours to go through passport control.

The holiday was going well, I was walking freely and pain free and I did forget about my operation earlier in the year until day 2 when we were walking to a breakfast diner and slipped on the pavement. As I walked over damp metal grating, I lost my footing. All I remember was trying to retain my balance as much as I could so that I don’t look like a complete lemon as I hit the deck.

I hit the ground with my right knee (my operated leg) and boy did I feel it. The kids and Loiza helped me up; I didn’t want to make a fuss.

As we sat in the diner, my knee began to throb and by the afternoon, I had to switch out from the trousers I was wearing and into a pair of shorts. My knee was aching and the swelling around the knee was excessive.

I didn’t take a photo of my own knee but the image below sums it up..

Sums up the size of my knee!

I felt annoyed and sorry for myself (stupid, I know). I am seriously doubting if my health can ever be 100% again if a simple fall can set you back.

I ended up buying a knee brace from CVS to help me walk (and cycle over the San Francisco Bridge) and taking Naproxin to reduce the swelling. 4 days on and the swelling and pain is under control.

Doubt is now creeping in about my recovery – thinking I am back to normal to soon.

On a side note, I did manage to walk up to the Coit Tower to take this amazing picture of the bay bridge.

Guest Blog : My souvenirs from Mexico and their meaning

This weeks blog is written by my daughter Priya, a budding blogger still at school.If you enjoyed reading her blog entry, don’t forget to like, follow, share and comment!

Some of my memories of Mexico are that there are a lot of tourist souvenir shops that sell tequila, sombreros, magnets and decorative shot glasses. However there are a few boutique shops which sell some really unique and charismatic souvenirs which tell a story at first glance.

This decorative purple skeleton represents a typical Day of the Dead tradition. This festival is a Mexican holiday that celebrates the lives of the deceased. The holiday is actually celebrated for two days. The first day, also know as All Saints Day, is the day to remember the deceased children. The 2nd of November is known as All Souls Day, meaning remembering those friends and family who have passed away.

The pink skull below represents a typical sugar skull that would be made for the celebration. The skulls are meant to reflect the happy and joyful memories associated with lost loved ones.

Another souvenir we picked up on the way back from a tour was a mini Mayan mask made out of Obsidian stone. Obsidian was widely used in the Mayan and Aztec times and it is created by the rapid cooling of lava. It is a strong protective stone and in the Mayan era it was used to make sharp objects, such as spears and knives. As a family we all thought that this was an unusual stone and we liked the peculiar design.

Positive change post Tibial Osteotomy – 6 months on…

In January 2018, I underwent a Tibial Osteotomy at the One Hatfield Hospital in the UK. I had been suffering from the onset of arthritis on my right knee and needed a solution that would avoid a knee replacement operation and get my life back to some level of normality.

I did get the chance to visit Chicago in the summer. Perfect weather!

By June 2018, I was signed off my Physio. He felt I made good enough progress to get my life back to a normal state and gave me some tough exercises to continue with. This was coupled with my surgeons recommendation to return on the 12 month operation anniversary (Jan 2019) to have the metal plates removed. This is a big deal as it means the cycle of pain in the knee could be reaching its end point. A weird part of me wanted to keep the metalwork in my leg as its a great conversation opener or filler (“I have a bionic leg”) however I was experiencing the odd skin irritation or swelling where the plates were located. Mr Chatoo (Surgeon) did mention a number of patients having the same experience. I set my mind to return in January for the final operation.

The gym workouts were going well. I was able to run 5k on the treadmill, lift and pull leg weights that was a clear improvement to pre-operation. I kept to a routine of fitness as well as cutting down on my alcohol intake and losing as much weight as possible, through healthier eating.

In July, I had to take time out from work to help my parents. My dad went into hospital to undergo a Quadruple Heart Bypass operation.

My dad is doing well 12 months on but it was a very tough time for my immediate family. Thank you to the NHS!

At the end of August and as a family, we decided to spend our 10 day summer vacation in Chicago, Illinois. For a Brit living under the cloud of Brexit some destinations were becoming very expensive and we felt that Chicago was a great location and is excellent value for money. Also we booked at the last minute and found a great value deal.

I felt much more confident in travelling and doing more outdoor activities; a real turning point as I felt my confidence was coming back.

Yes, there are some great beaches on the lakeshore. Fresh water also!

Tibial Osteotomy photo review – Post op to 6 weeks after. Part 1

In January 2018, I underwent a Tibial Osteotomy at the One Hatfield Hospital in the UK. I had been suffering from the onset of arthritis on my right knee and needed a solution that would avoid a knee replacement operation and get my life back to some level of normality.

For this weeks blog, I am sharing photos taken from pre-op to 6 weeks after. On creating this post, you have to realize the human body has amazing recovery capabilities, the repairs to the bone, muscle, tendons and skin are simultaneous!. When you are going through it on a daily basis it can feel like sh!t – don’t worry, you will get better!

Pre-Op mark up

Pre-op and before the leg shaving, Mr Chatoo marked my operating leg.

Post Op – compression bag on leg to reduce swelling

May be 2-3 hours after i came round from the op, you cannot feel a thing.

After 1 day, compression bag removed

There is a lot of bandage, but where is my other leg?

Day 2 – Getting ready for home, remove the bandages

This is the best part, time to go home.

Looks like I have run out of space, stay tuned the next post will continue the journey.

Putting the Physio advice into action

In January 2018, I underwent a Tibial Osteotomy at the One Hatfield Hospital in the UK. I had been suffering from the onset of arthritis on my right knee and needed a solution that would avoid a knee replacement operation and get my life back to some level of normality.

My blog charts the diary I kept as I went through the rehabilitation process. I am not a medical expert and is only my experiences that I share. Please click through my earlier posts using the menus on the right!.

I applied all the advice from my physio Craig into practice to build my muscles up. Loss of muscle mass and body control after an intrusive operation means getting back to normal needs a lot of work.

Lets keep this in perspective, an Osteotomy is a major operation

Feeling more stable on my feet and better stamina is making the recovery feels more real.

I am now able to walk correctly (with crutches) but the funny thing is ‘relearning walking’…to put the foot on the ground with the heel and moving the foot in a smooth rolling movement is key; I wanted to avoid dragging my foot or worse still, walking like a penguin; I really have to concentrate. At best it will improve posture, avoid back pains as well as ruining my other leg/knee.

I am able now to walk to the coffee shop and walk further without getting tired.
Working is still the pain, as its cold outside, and laying on the sofa – cabin fever, the irritation of medication and mobility just ends up with being negative to people at work. I expect this to subside as well. Just need to keep the routine going.


Living with the Osteotomy – venturing out of the house!

After my Tibial Osteotomy, its times to get moving again. Read my blog for my diary entry

The next 4 days

Hello there! I took a few days off from blogging as the weather in the UK is just amazing.

Shoreditch, London. Keeping the rich out of our common places

Forcing a routine of getting up and resting is just something that has to be done. As Loiza and others tell me when I become impatient, the importance is for a full recovery of :

(1) the soft tissue beneath the skin

(2) the bone that is missing coupled with the metal work

(3) tendons and muscles that are affected by the surgery

It is so important to recover well in order to have the right level of mobility, otherwise the surgery will not be as effective.

The overarching pain at the moment is the joint pain. My knee is still stiff and swollen. Slowly movement is coming back but I am conscious of keeping my muscle mass however it will be noticeable that I am losing muscle. My ankle now is the most painful. The swelling (and blackness of the bruising) is more painful and keeping my knee above the rest of my body is easier said than done.

I am now negotiating the stairs and taken showers by sitting on the stool – the stair climb is painful as pain is felt on the outside of the knee (as the alignment takes effect).

On the 12th February Loiza took me out for a walk and I covered the longest distance (ok it was about 20 metres there and back). Compared to the last time I went for a walk, I have trebled the distance. The issue is the continued pain in the knee.

Get some loose clothing and get some exercise.

The pain in the evenings is interesting, I get shots of pain from the top of the tibia to half way down. A throbbing pain as well as the area around the stitches. If this is the healing process then great but they are heavy bursts of contracting pain. I really cannot wait for the clips to be removed, I won’t miss the protruding metal clips i can feel within the bandage.