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.

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!

My background

I have always been active.  When I was young, I was a regular in the schools football and basketball teams from U11’s to U18’s. I also played for clubs outside of school. Training, playing and winning was the poison growing up. I also took on Kick Boxing and other martial arts outside of school and was very good at it. 

During University I kept up with Basketball but other sporting activities may have been replaced by going to pubs and clubs.

As I started work and changed jobs (from teacher to Trainer to IT consultant) my job entailed a lot of travelling by car and by air. 

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I guess I was in my mid twenties when I noticed pain in my knees. If was was sat driving for over 2 hours (such as commuting to work), I would experience stiffness and then going for a jog after was something I did not do too often. I just lived with it.

In my 40’s I decided to take up Sprint Triathlons, Mini Marathons. I had to shift my weight (109kg when i am 1.82m) – this certainly takes its toll on recovery and ability. I know this did not help. In my mid 40’s i just had to stop as the pain from running was very specific and very painful. I had to make a change

 

Is the remedy an Athroscopic Debridement

I visited a local Physiotherapist in 2016/107 as  I found that running on a treadmill and even jogging was becoming painful and recovery was taking much longer. My plan to train for the summers Sprint Triathlons was on the balance.

I was refered to a private hospital in Enfield where the specialist reviewed my x-rays. He noted the rhumetism in my righht knee for my age (47 at the time) was severe and that I would need a knee replacement in a few years.

As an interim, he would carry out an Arthroscopic debridement procedure. In my own words, its a day case where the surgeon washed the debridement from within my knee and cavity and provide some resolution to the pain I was getting.

They say the recovery is quick…well not for me. I could’nt walk for weeks and underwent Physiotherapy for over 6 months to recover