Andrew's story - Knee replacement using the Mako robot

Every golfer knows that your left knee is critical for making the perfect swing.

So, what happens when that knee is injured?

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Andrew Reynolds, a 64-year-old Golf Professional from the seaside town of Deal in Kent, has spent most of his life playing golf. He started swinging a golf club at the age of 12 and quickly developed a passion for the sport – so much so, that he went on to pursue golf as a full-time career.

However, a serious tear to Andrew’s left knee damaged his mobility and threatened to keep him off the course for good. Thankfully, he opted to undergo knee replacement surgery at The Princess Grace Hospital – guided by the latest Mako robotic technology – and now he’s back to scoring under par.

The knee injury

At the young age of 25, and not long into his golfing career, Andrew Reynolds experienced a bucket handle meniscus tear in his left knee. The meniscus tear - a common sports injury where the outer portion of the meniscus cartilage is torn - caused severe pain, swelling, and limited mobility in Andrew’s knee, forcing him to take a step back from competitive play.

Eager to get back to golf as soon as possible, Andrew arranged to have a Meniscectomy - a surgery which removes the damaged portion of the meniscus. The surgery was a success, and after a few weeks Andrew was back on the golf course perfecting his swing. 

The aches and pains continued

Although the surgery helped to ease the pain at first, after a number of years the effectiveness gradually started to wear off and Andrew could feel the aches and pains in his knee again.

Andrew sought medical advice and was told to have an Arthroscopy (a surgical procedure that allows doctors to view the knee joint without making a large incision through the skin) to flush out the knee joint and remove any damaged tissue.

Over the next 15 years Andrew underwent two Arthroscopy’s to ‘clean out’ his knee, which helped to reduce the pain and allow him to continue playing golf.

However, in the summer of 2018 - five years after his last Arthroscopy - Andrew played 7 rounds of golf within a 5-day period. The pressure on his left knee was too much, and the pain quickly returned.

By early October he was in so much pain that he couldn’t walk. Playing golf was no longer possible, and he struggled to sleep at night due to the discomfort.

"I kept leaving it, thinking it would eventually get better on its own – but it never did. I met up with a couple of golf buddies who work in the healthcare profession and told them about my knee. They immediately suggested that I go to see Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Mr Sam Oussedik at The Princess Grace Hospital – and so I did just that.” 

Andrew immediately booked an appointment with Mr Oussedik for a consultation. An X-ray taken during the consultation revealed that the cartilage in Andrew’s knee had been completely worn away, which meant that when he walked the end of his thigh bone and his knee joint were rubbing together, causing him pain.

Mr Oussedik advised Andrew that an Unicompartmental knee replacement was his top option, and would provide him with the best chance of returning to golf. He also informed Andrew that the surgery could be performed using the Mako robotic arm, one of the most innovative technologies available for joint replacement surgery for knees and hips - which can provide a more rapid recovery than traditional surgery.

“Mr Oussedik told me that I would need a Unicompartmental Knee Replacement to fix my knee, and recommended that I consider having my procedure guided by the new Mako technology. I completely trusted Mr Oussedik’s recommendation, and the rapid recovery benefits really sold it to me, so I booked myself in for the surgery there and then.”

Andrew's knee surgery

Andrew’s knee replacement was carried out by Mr Oussedik and his team of experts in January 2019, two weeks after his consultation and scan. The surgery lasted just under two hours, and Andrew was back home enjoying his new knee after only 3 days in recovery.

“The surgery couldn’t have gone better. I was in absolutely no pain, and the scar that was left on my knee was so tiny in comparison to what I thought it would be. The physio that supported me after the surgery was also really impressive and had me up walking around my hospital room the very next day.

After a week I was off medication and able to enjoy a full night sleep. I was always in and out of sleep before because of the pain in my knee, so it was honestly the best night’s sleep I’d had in years. Like so many others, I had reservations with any type of surgery but would have no hesitation whatsoever in encouraging any person that has ceased to be active to get the right treatment immediately so life can be fun again.

The best part of it all was that I was back hitting golf balls again within two months of the surgery, which is just magnificent. In fact, I felt so confident after the operation that I signed up to take part in the next PGA Seniors Open Golf tournament.

I never thought I would have the chance to play competitive golf again, so I can’t thank Mr Oussedik and his team at The Princess Grace Hospital enough for their work.”

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.