My Mako Knee Replacement

An active life 

Jo had always been active, a competitive swimmer at a young age, she’d seen numerous physios as a teenager for her ‘breaststroke knee’, something she puts down to the 70s and 80s school of thinking of ‘no pain no gain!’ During her twenties she took up competing in triathlons and marathons and mountain marathons, while working as a policewoman for many years, walking the beat for up to eight hours at a time, and a 12-mile round cycle commute. By the time Jo reached her mid-thirties, she began to wind down her activity due to ongoing issues with her knee. She was able to do less and less, even indoor spin classes hurt her knee too much, and gradually she found she couldn’t do the sports she loved. Years of intensive physiotherapy to help with muscle strength and imbalances enabled her to do some of the activities she enjoyed, but this came at a price; living in constant pain. 

Enough was enough!

A regular commute throughout London and the Home Counties meant Jo was often on her feet and walking long distances, something she enjoyed and often took hiking holidays. However, it wasn’t until a walking holiday in the UK, on more gentle terrain where Jo found she couldn’t keep up with friends that she decided she needed to seek help for her knee. 
Jo saw a private consultant who referred her for an MRI scan. This confirmed arthritis in her knee, and no protective cartilage to help cushion the bones, which had started rubbing together. Her doctor recommended a full knee replacement with multiple injections and other treatments alongside. Talking this through with friends at Christmas, Jo was recommended to get in touch with Jonathan Webb at Fortius by a friend. 

Robotic technology 

Jo booked in to see Jonathan, who recommended a partial knee replacement rather than a full one, using the Mako robot technology to aid him in creating a more accurate prosthetic placement. The operation was booked for March and Jo started on an intensive pre-operative physio programme, getting herself as fit as possible with weights, yoga and swimming. 

Prior to the operation, Jo had a CT scan to help the robotic technology plot exactly where the prosthetic needed to be placed. This would then provide real time feedback to Jonathan during the surgery, allowing him to place the new knee in the optimum position for Jo’s recovery and future health. 

Surgery and recovery 

Jo’s operation took place at Bupa Cromwell Hospital in early 2018. On the third day following her operation, Jo was able to walk without crutches, and had minimal swelling and bleeding.

Since her operation, Jo has been back in the gym, doing weights and light exercise and religiously following her rehab programme with her physio, who has been equally impressed at not just her recovery but the precise positioning of her knee. Interestingly Jo found that the pain and stiffness in her left hip, that she’d attributed to bad luck over all these years, has completely gone! Something she and her physio believe is down to the correction of her right knee. 

Jo continues to work hard at her recovery, staying active, and has gone back to work already. 

My recovery has been astounding!

The knee joint consists of the lower end of the thigh bone (femur) and the top of the shin bone (tibia). At the front of the knee is the knee cap, also known as the patella. The patella moves up and down in a groove on the front of the femur as the knee bends and straightens.