Mike’s story: Decades of pain, resolved in weeks

“As a physiotherapist, I know what can go wrong, but this knee has been fantastic. After the first week, I was walking without a stick or a crutch…”
Patient story Mike  story.jpg

Now 46, Mike had been struggling with knee problems since he tore his right ACL during a football match at the age of 19. He had undergone a reconstruction with another surgeon elsewhere and subsequently experienced pain and reduced stability for almost 30 years. When Mike then injured his other knee, he decided to seek specialist advice after receiving a recommendation. In April 2022, he met with orthopaedic surgeon Mr Simon Thompson at The Lister Hospital, part of HCA Healthcare UK, to explore his treatment options.

Having had a consultation, examination and imaging just a few weeks later, he started the journey of correcting his knee problems. He had a primary ACL reconstruction of the recently injured knee and then waited to review his experience. He was surprised at how different it was from his previous reconstruction surgery; it wasn’t as painful and his knee moved really well and was much more stable. He decided he wanted Mr Thompson to revise the previous surgery performed elsewhere with other consultants on his other knee. We caught up with Mike to talk about the operations and his experience at The Lister Hospital in Chelsea, under the care of Mr Thompson.

A long time coming

"I had an ACL reconstruction on my right knee when I was 19 as a result of a football injury”, Mike explained. “After finishing university, I gained employment and life took a different direction so I never got back to playing football at any reasonable level. A good few years on I was playing in a random, one-off 5-aside football match and snapped my ACL reconstruction."

"I knew at the time that I’d done something, but I didn’t do anything about it. Then three or four years after I had a similar experience with my left knee and I again ignored it for five years before doing anything", Mike explained. While on holiday, Mike found that walking on the sand was causing some pain and that he was feeling uneasy on his legs. "That was the instigator for me seeking help - I thought it was probably just a little bit of cartilage that needed tidying up, so did some research, which included receiving a recommendation, and made an appointment with Mr Simon Thompson who I’d learnt specialises in knee and ACL surgery", he said.

"I first met Mr Thompson in the April of 2022 and he sent me for some imaging scans, before advising me that I needed an ACL reconstruction on both knees”, Mike explained. “I’ve just had my 12-month check-up for both knees and I’m feeling fantastic!"

Pain-free and confident

"When I met Mr Thompson for the first time he was so reassuring and he guided me through every step of the journey from then on. He also assured me that the surgeries could be done over a period of time that made sense in terms of my recovery, so that I didn’t have to spend too much time away from work. After the final surgery was when my recovery journey really began, and now only a year on I’m able to jump, twist and turn without any worry."

"For each surgery, I arrived at The Lister Hospital first thing in the morning and was home the same day”, Mike said cheerily. “From the welcoming team at the front desk to the wonderful nurses who cared for me on the ward, it was first class."

"I’m too old for football now, but I’m 90% back to a level of recovery where I’d be able to play if I wanted to. For me, it’s about having the confidence to be able to twist and turn and jump around, which I’ve not had since I was 19. It’s as much a mental thing as a physical thing for me."

"With hindsight, I should have dealt with my knee problems a long time ago. I’d say to anyone else in my position that if you’re not sure about anything, you should seek the help of a specialist like Mr Thompson and always get a professional opinion", Mike advises. "I found all of the team at The Lister Hospital were amazing in accommodating my needs."

Find out more about the acute knee injury services available at HCA Healthcare or to book an appointment, call 020 3733 5966.

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