GP Talking to Patient About Knee Surgery

You need a knee operation. You’re planning to take the private healthcare route. But with all that’s happening right now, should you act now or wait? Yorkshire Knee Clinic’s Jim Newman gives his view – and dispels a few myths.

 

“I think I can wait”

“The question of whether your knee operation needs to happen now or later is a tough call to make for any knee surgeon without seeing the patient, but it’s a tough call for patients too. We know over the course of the lockdown that some patients put off seeing us because they didn’t want to risk a hospital trip during a pandemic, or because they didn’t want to ‘bother us’ (although that’s what we’re here for). We also suspect that many of those patients are still putting up with knee pain are yet to contact us.

“I would say that, whatever decision you reach, it’s important not to reach it alone. Talk to your GP. Get a referral. Then have a conversation with us – if you’d rather not do that face to face you can talk to us online. Once we are able to make a proper diagnosis we can say for sure whether your case is urgent – but I’d urge against making assumptions.”

 

“There are delays even if I go private”

“That’s true. It is taking a little longer than usual for private patients to be seen, because so much private resource has understandably been used by the NHS over the past few months. However, the waiting times for private patients are miniscule compared with NHS waiting lists. Those waiting over 12 months on the NHS have hit a 12-year high and, as NHS/private contracts expire over the next few months, those waiting times are likely to increase further.”

 

“If I opt for treatment now, I’m at greater risk of Covid infection”

“In my experience the green pathways [that is, the Covid-secure pathways through hospitals] are encouragingly robust. We simply can’t say whether things will be safer or less safe in 3, 6 or 12 months’ time. As the R rate changes, the calculation of risk shifts.

“But if you are suffering with knee pain now, then at the very least get an opinion from us about whether now is the right time for treatment. I would make that assessment on a case by case basis. If your knee pain isn’t acute and you have a number of other medical conditions, you may be better off waiting. If you’re otherwise young, fit and active, now may be the ideal time to get it done. But irrespective of when the operation takes place, the conversation really should happen now.

“For swift consultation and diagnosis, talk to us.”

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James Newman

James Newman

Consultant Knee Surgeon at the Yorkshire Knee Clinic

“I’m walking normally now - no sticks or anything. I’d like to thank Mr Newman for what he’s done for me. It’s been life changing.”

Paul Morgan, YKC patient

Surgeon Visiting Patient After Knee Replacement Surgery

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