Linda Bairstow Case Study
My Knee Surgery
Treated by: Nick London
Procedure: Partial knee replacement
“I think Nick’s a wizard. I’m pretty sure my original knee wasn’t this good!”
Without realising it, Linda Bairstow had been placing extra stress on the inside of her right knee since she was born. “Me and my husband didn’t have a good knee between us,” she laughs, “and we’d started sharing a physio. The physio noticed I had a difference in leg length, together with a higher hip and shoulder. I’ve been standing all my life trying to make my legs level which means I’ve been damaging my knee for years.”
Five years ago, as her knee became more painful, Linda started walking with a stick. It didn’t stop her doing everything she had always done, but over time, her knee pain became more pronounced.
“I gave up step aerobics, although I stuck to spinning as often as I could. I was starting to feel limited. I couldn’t go for a walk for pleasure (because it wasn’t a pleasure!). I’d cut shopping strips short. Kneeling down and standing up were sore and, although I’m clumsy by nature, things were getting beyond a joke!”
Linda had private medical insurance and asked her physio to make a referral to Yorkshire Knee Clinic’s Prof. Nick London. “I called the knee clinic and asked if they would accept a referral from my physio (and they said they would). They just asked for GP confirmation too and we got that sorted.”
Ahead of her first consultation with Nick, Linda was a little apprehensive. “I’m not very good with people who are a bit abrupt or abrasive and you hear stories about surgeons don’t you? But Mr London wasn’t like that at all. He was really nice. I had an x-ray and then he looked at the results with me and just said “ouch”!
“Then he explained the procedure, and the difference between a full knee and half knee replacement. He explained it very clearly and stressed that I could leave things as they were if I wished, but he told me things would not get better without an operation – and arguably the procedure was well overdue. So I decided to go ahead with the knee surgery.”
Linda had a holiday planned, so needed to wait two weeks following her transatlantic flight, but she was booked in for surgery shortly afterwards.
“Right from going in the door, everyone was really kind”
Linda’s partial knee replacement took place at Nuffield Hospital, Leeds. “Everybody was so nice there (although the car park’s a nightmare). But right from going in the door, everyone was really kind. I was picked up from reception by a lady who showed me to my room. Then the sister introduced herself and from there everything seemed to happen really quickly.
“I was a bit worried about the anaesthetic. I told them I didn’t want to be watching anything – I can’t stand anything that exudes! I was given a spinal, but then the anaesthetist asked if I wanted something to put me to sleep and I said yes. I woke up later that morning feeling fresh and without that ‘just been drugged’ feeling you sometimes get. It was like waking up normally.”
Linda was up and (gingerly) testing out the leg by the end of the day, although low blood pressure meant she had to take things easy. “Before lunch, Mr London rang me in my room to tell me how everything had gone and he said he was very pleased with it. A lovely physio came to see me and got me up on my feet. I think I may have even tackled some steps that day.
“I was feeling discomfort, but bear in mind the leg was about as bad as it could get before the op. I was used to my leg hurting.”
Linda was on a frame for the first day and then crutches, which she took with her when she was discharged home, two days later.
“By six weeks I was feeling great”
“Coming home was fine,” Linda explains. “We decided it would be better if I slept downstairs initially, because we have a downstairs shower and loo so I could avoid the risk of tackling the stairs. It took perhaps about five days for me to be able to face the stairs without feeing wobbly.
“I was given exercises to do. I could do them all but there was jut one I found very difficult. There was a certain procedure for getting up and down using crutches and I just couldn’t remember it, so I put some notes on them as a memory aid – I’d recommend that to anyone!
“After my first check-up with the physio I went from two crutches to one. Two weeks after that I was walking without sticks, crutches or anything. I saw Mr London again at the six-week point and I said the knee felt wonderful. He said it would get better still. Frankly, if my knee hadn’t made any further progress, I would still have been very happy with it.”
The improvements in Linda’s knee didn’t stop at that. As Nick had suggested, Linda’s knee continued to improve. Last week, she had her six month review. “It went fantastic,” she says, thrilled. “You can barely even see the scar. And now I honestly can’t believe there was ever anything the matter. I can do everything – so we’ve booked a skiing holiday in Canada for next May. I’m not a talented skier, but I’m hoping my improved knee makes my turns better.”
“I thought Nick’s manner was lovely”
So how would Linda sum up her experience with Nick? “He’s clever. To be able to do something like this… I never expected that it wouldn’t hurt at all. But it doesn’t. It’s just cured.
“Nick talks to you as if you’ve got a brain (and not all surgeons do that). He explained things really well. he was quite light hearted. I thought his manner was lovely.
Actually, I think Nick’s a wizard. I’m pretty sure my original knee wasn’t this good!”
To speak to Nick London about your knee pain, please contact us.