31 August 2022
Transport planner David Bird had four objectives after having a robotic bilateral simultaneous partial knee replacement – walking, cycling, golf and skiing – and he has achieved them all!
65-year-old David, who lives in Southgate, North London, had had pain in both his knees for around five years and it got to the point when it was becoming uncomfortable to walk upstairs. It was also affecting all the activities he liked to do such as walking, running and skiing.
He said: “When I first started getting pain, I took up tennis and slightly foolishly played on hard courts that I noticed affected my knees significantly. I gave up after a year or two and went to see a specialist who my father had seen previously. He told me I had degenerative arthritis and suggested I didn’t do anything about it at that time but to monitor it. I took the attitude that I don’t like going under the knife and that I would keep going as best as I could, so I gave up tennis and took supplements which are meant to help your joints.”
Some time after David got to the stage where he knew something needed to be done. His wife recommended that David make an appointment to see Fortius Consultant Knee Surgeon Mr David Houlihan-Burne. David had a consultation with Mr Houlihan-Burne and an MRI scan at Fortius Clinic Marylebone. Having seen the scan results, Mr Houlihan-Burne advised David to have a partial knee replacement on both knees at the same time.
Mr Houlihan-Burne reassured me that partial knee replacements were the right solution. We had a chat about doing them both at the same time and he was confident I would be able to manage this from a recovery point of view,” said David. “I was grateful for that advice because it means you only have to go through the procedure and recovery once.”
Mr Houlihan-Burne performed David’s operation at the Fortius Joint Replacement Centre at Cromwell Hospital using the Mako robot. This highly advanced robotic technology enables surgeons to have a more predictable surgical experience with increased accuracy. It also results in shorter recovery times and reduced post-operative pain.
Mr Houlihan-Burne said: “The results for my patients are far superior with robotic-assisted surgery compared to more traditional knee replacement surgery. The recovery time is much quicker, the length of stay in hospital is much shorter and what really stands out is the return to normal life and normal function are much quicker.”
David stayed in hospital for two nights. He wasn’t in any significant pain and walked on both crutches for only two days. Once he returned home he used an ice therapy machine which helped his recovery and had physiotherapy for four months.
He said: “My mobility returned much quicker than I had anticipated. I took up cycling again after about three months and went skiing the year after. I’m back to playing 18 holes of golf whereas previously I used to get halfway round and then it would become hard work. And walking 10 miles is also no problem. I’m not saying my knees are absolutely perfect but they don’t stop me doing anything that I want to do."