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    Spire Methley Park Hospital

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  • Jo-Anne Charalambous Case Study

    My Knee Surgery

    Jo-Anne Charalambous
    Treated by: Jim Newman
    Procedure: Total knee replacement

    “Covid-19 or not I’d give him a great big kiss. He’s given me my life back.”

    7km – zero

    Jo-Anne Charalambous led an extremely active life. Each day she would walk 6-7km with her dog. She enjoyed dancing. And as the head of a Yorkshire primary school, every day would see her covering more miles within the school. Then, very quickly, osteoarthritis struck and everything ground to a painful halt.

    “I went from being very active to being barely able to walk in just a matter of weeks,” Jo-Anne explains. “It was just a nightmare. Driving would bring tears to my eyes. At work I just had to grit my teeth.”

    Over the following six months Jo-Anne saw her GP, a physio, tried painkillers and swimming and was referred to a musculo-skeletal specialist, but the pain remained. “I almost gave up at that point,” she reflects.

    A personal approach to knee pain

    Instead of giving up, Jo-Anne discovered Jim Newman at Yorkshire Knee Clinic. The difference, she felt, was immediately obvious.

    “Mr Newman took me seriously. I’m quite young for a knee replacement but what impressed me about him was that he considered the evidence rather than how old I ‘ought to be’ before having the procedure.

    “When we spoke about my history he was genuinely interested in me and my story. He took one look at my MRI and said ‘you need a replacement’. That’s quite a shocking thing to be told. But equally, the fact that someone was taking my pain seriously made such a difference. I was booked in for a total knee replacement within three weeks.”

       > Discover more about Jim Newman
       > Discover more about total knee replacements

    Jo-Anne’s procedure was carried out at Spire Methley Park in March, just three days before the country went into a coronavirus-induced lockdown.

    “Mr Newman and his team were just great,” she recalls. “I was quite anxious about having a spinal anaesthetic. I didn’t believe it would work, but of course it did.”

    Back home, Jo-Anne was faced with the unusual challenge of managing her recovery without being able to see Mr Newman or the physiotherapy team in person.

    “I was really inspired by reading Mr Newman’s other case studies and he told me ‘I will give you your new knee but you have to do your side of it’, so I was very committed to doing the physio. His team of physiotherapists have been remarkable. In the early days after the operation I was in contact with them perhaps 2-3 times a week.

    “At first I sent them little videos of me doing the exercises and they would send feedback. Then we did some Zoom sessions. It was a little strange but it worked well.”

    Becoming pain free

    “I had assumed that all the pain would be in my knee because that’s where the pain always was before surgery. But very quickly you realise that actually it’s the thigh and the calf which hurt most.

    “There are moments on the journey that feel quite significant. For 2/3 weeks it was painful, especially at night. After 2/3 weeks that pain eased off and I felt I could attack the physio better.

       > Discover more about physiotherapy after knee surgery

    “I think if things had stopped improving at the 6-8 week point I would have been ok with it. Before my op I just wanted to be able to potter, and by that stage I could walk, drive and climb the stairs without pain. But I wanted to push myself further.

    “By 10 weeks I felt really strong, and it has kept improving since. I’m now completely pain-free. I saw Mr Newman recently and he doesn’t need to see me again for a year.”

    Jo-Anne says that, three months after her operation, the knee feels almost as good as it had before osteoarthritis struck, and her life has been transformed.

    My new ‘bionic leg’ is amazing. I’m walking at least 5k every day. I can do my job. I can drive without it making me cry with pain. Not only that, because Mr Newman used a sort of tape rather than staples on my wound, my scar looks amazing too.

    “Covid-19 or not I’d give him a great big kiss. He’s given me my life back.”

    To speak to Jim Newman about your knee injury, please contact us.

       > Discover more about Jim Newman
       > Discover more about total knee replacements