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.
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.
I didn’t have a good sleep the night before so got up early. No food or drink as prescribed by the hospital so getting ready was quick. Priya was awake and gave me a hug before she went off to get her breakfast. Aroon was asleep so i gave him a shove. Time of arrival to the hospital is 7am. I remembered for the last 4 or so weeks repeating to myself “this is the last time i do….in a while”…well that the end of the line now.
We arrived at the hospital on time and taken to my room. All sparse but the TV was good. Not sure how many people have used the room as its all very new.
Mr Minhal Chatoo (Surgeon and specialist ) came in and spoke about the operation and highlighted the risks. This is expected as he covered risks in tibia under/over correction, risk of cutting a nerve and rehab time. The good news from what he said was movement on the Knee will be possible as the cuts will be below the knee. He was very reassuring as he drew an arrow on my leg
He left by saying that i am the second person on his list and that the anaesthetist will be round later. We sat until 10:20am and then was taken down to the operating theatre.
I remember an Australian lady and Joan Washington (Sister) taking me down on the lift; i made a comment about the disco lights in the lift (nervous energy!).
I was led into the operating theater and laid on the table. At this point another chap who was administering the drugs noted my DOB was incorrect – born in 1953? That was corrected quickly.
Once the anesthetist came back, he mentioned the drugs and an additional injection in my right thigh to aid the operation. We chatted and had a giggle for 10-15 minutes as their actions were completed. I noted the time was about 11:40am.
The operation was to cut below the shin on the right leg. A wedge 11mm wide would be cut out. A bone graft applied. The gap create in the leg will have metal strips screwed in to support the bone growth to correct my leg.
The drugs took action and i passed out
Coming round after surgery
I came around at about 1:30 and i was in agony – a sawed leg, 2 metal pins and bunch of screws added to my leg. 2 nurses were near by. They talked and administered drugs once they spoke to the anesthetist. I was left downstairs for a while. Once the pain was tolerable, they wheeled me back upstairs. I was glad to see Loiza in the room.I held her hand. I cannot remember if i fell asleep again but i guess it was on and off. They gave me oxygen and connected me to saline and heart rate monitor.
Mr Chatoo then called us to talk about the operation. He said the procedure was on plan and that he was satisfied. This was a relief. Loiza and I reflected and after a while and then she left for home. I fell asleep again. I remember waking up as Joan was taking my Heart Rate when i complained that i wanted to vomit. I felt that i was losing consciousness and could feel my self sweating and my heart pounding. The Doctor lay me down and i could hear them telling me to keep my eyes open. I was struggling but they pulled me through. After laying flat, i felt much better. My blood pressure dropped due to a reaction of the drugs. At least that gave me something else to worry about rather than my leg.
The pain in my leg is prevalent but didn’t feel like it was sawed, had metal strips and screws put in. the air pumps/ cushion on both legs is helping my blood circulation. Dinner arrived and it was seabass with potatoes. It tasted dry but i finished it so quickly.
Loiza, Aroon and Priya arrived at 7:30ish..if felt like they had been gone for a long time. The kids made me a card for “Brotato”.
Priya read her “grand designs” magazine with me and Aroon talked about his Physics lecture at school. He mentioned the speaker was very enthusiastic about her subject matter. We sat chatted and i just watched everyone -i was just happy to see them and didnt want them to leave.
Joan came by with her shift replacement and went over my case notes. A shame to see her go as she really looked after me as i came round. She was calm, direct and very precise,
Loiza and the kids left and i fell asleep again. Another nurse came in and administered pain killers. They kept the oxygen running. I was a little impatient on waiting for things but the nurses must be busy. Anyway things went as per plan anyway. Every 2 hours they came in and checked my vitals. The pain was bearable and was able to move my toes. I didnt want to risk moving any more than that.
Initially the Osteotomy surgery date was meant to be on 17th January but the surgeon had to push the time back as there was a risk of overrunning on a more complex surgery that was planned earlier in the day. For me, I had programmed my mind (at home and work) that surgery would be on a specific date so felt prepared. With that moving, it was tough trying to adjust and refocus on work but it had to be done.
Work for me this month was very manic; recruitment, interviews, dealing with sales staff in the corporate world is stressful. Also, with my manager being unable to take my workload, this didn’t help the stress levels. This actually helped me avoid thinking about the surgery.
So now i am sat at 6:30pm on Tuesday feeling a little numb. I’m not sure how to react other than to ‘go with the flow’ tomorrow.
In terms of the ‘what will i do after the surgery’ quandary, not too sure what that would entail. The thought of the surgeon drilling through my tibia, taking a 1.1cm width of bone out, drilling holes and adding metal plates is daunting. What will the pain be like after a few days? How will i go to the toilet, shower and dress myself. Also being stuck in the house with a wounded legs for a week or so is not riding well.
I’m not sure what Aroon or Priya are thinking. Aroon is wrapped up in his own things and Priya is busy being a girl. As long as they support Loiza, thats all goodness.
I’m going to go early to watch Priya at football practice and see how the day ends, Its NIL BY MOUTH 12 hours before the surgery and need to get to the Hospital by 7am.
I am Jayesh (“Jay”) Lad, married to Loiza Lad and we have 2 children, Aroon and Priya.
We live in a suburb just outside London, UK where we have joys of being very close to the countryside and 20 minutes away from London, one of the greatest cities in the world. We live an active lifestyle and enjoy spending time together as a family and with extended families.
Life is about staying healthy, bringing up the kids, paying the mortgage and going on holidays.
In 2018 I underwent a surgery called a Tibial Osteomety at the One Hatfield Hospital on my right leg. After a year of recovery I decided to blog on my recovery process with the aim of helping others who may be thinking of taking their journey, or like me, on their journey right now,
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.
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
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