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I am a 68 year old male who for the past 20 years suffered debilitating arthritis in both knees. It had got to the stage where pain killers were of little use.
On investigating different methods of TKR ( Total knee replacement) I opted for the latest 3D technology via Conformis knees who are an American based company. They have many Consultant surgeons throughout the UK and I found Ravindra Gudena who came well recommended and does his consultations and surgeries at both Fairfield Hospital St Helens and The Spire Cheshire Hospital in Warrington.
Mr Gudena explained in great detail how much more effective the Conformis knee joint is compared to an ‘off the shelf’ implant that has been in use for many many years. A 50 minute surgery to implant the knee and a greatly reduced recovery period. I had 3D scans of both knees and off they went to Conformis in America who designed and manufactured bespoke implants for both my knees.
I was told the recovery period could take up to 12 months and it was explained that I would literally have to often (daily) have to go through the pain barrier to get full movement back to my joint ,not allowing the scar tissue to form and restrict movement of the joint!
I had my right knee surgery on January 18th 2019 , the operation took 46 minutes and Mr Gudena was quick to show me photos/ videos soon after I woke up from the sedation. Gory indeed!
I was in excruciating pain six hours later but when prescribed the correct pain medication that worked for me, I finally had some respite and slept. 48 hours later I was discharged from hospital as I was able to walk down stairs using crutches. I was told to leave the waterproof bandage/ plaster on for eight weeks and make sure I did not get any infection in the wound, after the eight weeks I returned to hospital for X rays and to meet with Mr Gudena to ascertain how the joint replacement was progressing!
The eight weeks went by quickly, I was able to walk without the aid of crutches after six weeks. I have had a static bike installed at home and was able to cycle freely without pain. At which point my knee bend was at 110 degrees of flexion and it still needed another 10 /20 degrees in order to get full knee bend. Also I got to within four degrees of having my knee totally straight, from 20 degrees.
I diligently did all the knee exercises that were recommended by my physiotherapist, which was painful and caused significant swelling, both of which I was told were entirely to be expected – no pain no gain. I used an ice pack knee bandage up to five times a day for 20 minute periods which gave some welcome relief.
I was recommended to buy and use an Artesian Hot Tub Spa which would aid recovery, 40 degrees of water, high pressure jets directed on both my calves and thighs would greatly increase movement of the joint whilst enabling undertaking my exercises / stretches in the Spa with significantly less pain and considerably more flexibility. This was a massive help in getting my flexibility back on track.
This proved to make a massive impact on my recovery, both in terms of pain management and reducing my recovery time. I used the Hot Tub Spa 3/4 times a day for 20 minute periods, I wrapped polythene round the joint and used waterproof tape to seal around the joint ensuring no water ingress for the first few weeks while my dressing was still in place.
I really truly believe this significantly speeded my recovery, I am now cycling three times approx 20 miles a week each trip. I recently was able go on a golf holiday, playing four consecutive rounds of golf using a buggy with no ill effects, and no painkillers either – Amazing!
I have played (and won) competitive tennis on two occasions this week and have full movement back in my knee confidently standing, turning and stretching . It causes me no pain at all! In fact after the first match my left knee was giving me severe arthritic pain, and I felt no pain or swelling in my new knee.
It is now the 22nd of May, just 123 days after surgery – I feel fantastic, it is vital to follow your consultants recovery programme to the letter and just as important was the Artesian Spa which was fundamental in my recovery programme.
I now look forward to having my left knee done in October after I have enjoyed playing lots of golf, tennis and cycling over the summer.
~ Colin L
It occurred to me yesterday that the great time I am having now cycling in Spain is entirely due to you. The knee is great and I can hike and cycle as far as I want. I attach a selfie at the top of a steep ride near me, Puig de la Llorenca, which was part of the 2015 Vuelta. I cycled up no problem at all. I think the slope is 28° in one place and the total climb is 442m to the very top.
Have a great 2020! If my other knee blows up I will see you this year…...
~ Bob J
In my school years I was always a fast sprinter. In 1986, aged 14, I wanted to do hurdles. After only 6 weeks of learning the event, I won the Merseyside Championships (and won it in 1987 too). From this, I was selected to represent Merseyside in the English Schools Championships (ESSA) in Portsmouth which was for all the elite school athletes in the UK. I made the semi-finals of the 75 metre hurdles (75mH), narrowly missing out of the final by 1/10th of a second. I was then selected to represent Great Britain in the European catholic Student Games in Vienna Austria. I won a silver medal in the 400 metre hurdles (400mH). The same year, I was part of the 4x100m relay team running the anchor leg bringing the team home for a gold medal and crowned Northern Champions. In 1988 school exams took preference and I regrettably quit athletics.
Twenty four years later in 2010, aged 38, I decided to revisit the athletics track. Training was tough as I was unfit, had had 2 children but had never lost my determination or hurdling technique – I was so quick over the hurdle.2013 was a great track season for me. In my age group (40-44) I was ranked number 1 in the UK for the 100m sprint hurdles (100mH) and 9th in the 400mH. I was running fast and felt great.
In early 2014, I won the Northern Masters Championships in both the sprint 80m hurdles (80mH) and 400mH, and was selected to represent Great Britain in the World Master Championships in Istanbul. Disaster struck again though in October 2016 – severe groin pain. Too painful to even jog! Following consultations with Mr Gudena at Fairfield Hospital, St Helens, I was diagnosed as having ‘complete loss of cartilage’ and the hip was covered in cysts. I needed a total left hip replacement. I was devastated and initially thought ‘game over!’
I had my left hip replaced in July 2017 by Mr Gudena in Fairfield hospital. Surgery went well with no complications. Regarding my road to recovery I needed to be patient. I did everything that my excellent physio at Fairfield, Paul Marsh, advised me to do. I had to learn to walk with 2 crutches, then 1 crutch and then none. I ensured I completed all the required exercises, stretches and strength work and increased intensity as muscles strengthened. My constant gym sessions (which I still do now) helped me recover quicker – the static bike, the step machine, one leg squats and core strength to name a few.
I returned to the track at the end of 2017. This took a lot of discipline and patience. At first I couldn’t lift the left leg to the same height as the right leg when running. This mean’t more strength work was needed in the hip flexors and glute. Once I overcome this, the left leg would not extend the same length as the right. At age 46, I have just competed in my first hurdle race on 10th March 2019 at Sports City indoors Manchester in the 60mH. It felt great to compete again and I loved every second of it (literally) and ran great. I raced girls under age 20 and was not disgraced. I also won my 60m sprint race in a personal best time too.
Considering it was doubted if I would be able to sprint again, never mind sprint hurdle, I have the determination to work hard and succeed because I enjoy it so much.
I have 2 sayings to myself:
“Never give up hope – Run – Train – Live”
“If you can dream it you can do it”.
Thank you Mr Gudena. Thank you Paul Marsh. Thank you Fairfield.
~ Karen M
I was wheel chair bound for nearly a year following multiple operations on my right hip. I was seen by Mr Gudena at St Helens hospital, who explained thoroughly what he can do for me. I had my operation 3 months ago and half of my thigh bone was replaced. I am walking with a stick and my life is back.
Mr Gudena did a knee replacement in July 2013. I was out of hospital in two days and and I feel like a new man. Such a young professional credit to the NHS. I highly recommend him.
I am 28 years old and I had a hip problem called hip impingement. Following recommendation, I saw Mr Gudena, who explained to me about this problem and did Hip arthroscopy (hip key hole surgery). I recovered 6 weeks after the operation and back to my sports career... thanks to Mr Gudena.
I had my knee cartilage operation under Mr Gudena. Received excellent care throughout. I am taking my Dad to see Mr Gudena for his knee replacement operation. Mr Gudena is very pleasant and an excellent surgeon.
Mr Gudena is an exceptional Surgeon, explains everything in simple terms, very pleasant and professional. Had my Hip key hole surgery done with excellent results. I have nothing but praises.
My consultation was at St Helens Hospital and surgery at Whiston Hospital on 01/11/15. Both hospitals exceptionally clean, admitted at 07.30 and operation was 7.45. Everything was communicated well and the attention by the team was superb. Very well looked after by all. Excellent consultant/surgeon.
I travelled from Bolton to have my 3D customised Conformis knee replacement by Mr Gudena at Fairfield Hospital as he did highest number of 3D knees. I am very pleased with overall care and especially my knee. Had new lease of life. Mr Gudena is really an exceptional surgeon with great personality.