“It’s transformed my life”: my knee replacement story

Knee replacement case study

Graham Morris first met Mr Neil Hunt 13 years ago when Neil performed successful knee reconstruction surgery after a number of previous knee operations by other surgeons did not provide the desired results. This gave Graham the confidence to undergo robotic-assisted partial knee replacement when he started to experience wear and tear issues in his other knee.

I first met Neil in 2011 when he performed successful medial patella-femoral ligament (MPFL) reconstruction surgery on my right knee. I had suffered a sporting injury in 2002 and had undergone numerous attempts to repair it, all unsuccessful. After just one operation with Neil, it was fixed. I thought at the time, I’ll remember him for the future!

I then had trouble with my left knee as a consequence of wear and tear, probably because I’d spent years and years overcorrecting due to the issues with my right knee. For the last few years, I’ve been carrying terrible pain in my left knee with constant swelling.

The last straw was summer 2023. We went on holiday twice, and when you realise you’re not even enjoying the holidays anymore, you know you can’t wait any longer. Also, we’d had our first grandson, and I thought, if there’s ever a reason to get this resolved, then this is it.

My knee replacement consultation

I visited Neil, and he recommended a partial knee replacement on the medial side of my left knee using robotic-assisted technology. Knowing how well he had performed the surgery on my right knee, I trusted him absolutely.

The operation was on 20 January. When I woke up from the operation, I was still under the influence of the anaesthetic, but I could tell almost straight away that the pain I’d been carrying before was gone.

I took codeine for the first day and then did not need any more pain relief. For months before the operation, I’d been on naproxen to control the swelling and omeprazole to protect my stomach, so it’s been fantastic not to rely on any medication.

One big difference this time is that I listened to the advice. When I returned home, I rested it, elevated it, controlled the swelling, and did all the recommended exercises. That’s a mistake I’ve made in the past, believing that you can recover quicker than they say. So, maybe that’s one good thing about ageing!

After four weeks, there was no swelling, and the knee felt brand new. I saw the physio, who couldn’t believe I had a full range of motion in my left leg. He asked me to jump on the bike, and I did ten minutes with no discomfort. He was very impressed with my recovery.

Once you have a knee replacement, it’s like you join a club, and suddenly everyone you meet has had a similar op. Talking to them, I have realised how lucky I’ve been with my recovery and how successful the operation has been.

Within six weeks, I was back to work. I love cycling and hadn’t been able to ride for at least a year, but now I’m back on the bike. I can’t run, but I wouldn’t want to anyway! After a certain age, and after my experience, you need to protect your joints. My grandson is now 18 months old and weighs a ton, but I can carry him around without problems.

I have tried to work out why I have had the experience I’ve had, and maybe it’s a smidge of luck, but I think the robotic-assisted surgery helped as you get pinpoint accuracy. My background is in engineering, and after I consulted with Neil, I researched Mako technology, and it really appealed to me.

Knee replacement timing

Timing was also a factor. I was waiting until I retired in two years. Then I thought, why wait? I believe there are lots of people out there waiting for the ‘right time’ to have the operation, and my advice is to go for it if it is affecting your quality of life.

Also, if I’d waited for another two or three years, there would have been more damage, and I might not have achieved the result I have. I was 57 and relatively fit, and my body adapted to it really quickly. However, if you get to the point that you are hardly walking, then you are less likely to return to many of the activities you’d enjoyed previously.

The main factor, though, is that I knew I had an excellent surgeon and could trust him. I have seen many knee surgeons with my previous problems, and from the beginning, Neil was different. He was able to articulate the outcome in a way that was meaningful to me, the patient, and gave me confidence that he would deliver this outcome for me. Which he did and I couldn’t be happier with it – it’s transformed my life.

If you would like to find out if you are suitable for robotic knee replacement, you can make an appointment with Mr Neil Hunt at one of his clinics or call Charissa Sullivan on 07724 909 414.