Michael's MAKO hip surgery to treat his arthritis

Michael hip arthritis.jpg

In January 2021, Michael realised he had arthritis in his right hip. By March 2021, his mobility was severely affected, with ebbs and flows of intensity, but always present and impeding. After being told it didn’t warrant surgery, even though he could barely walk from the pain, he found Professor Richard Field through a recommendation and therefore, The Lister Hospital. Michael shares his story and explains why this surgery was so important.

An increase in pain

73 year-old Michael, an avid walker and Charity Worker, was diagnosed with arthritis in January 2021. After facing long waiting times and increasing pain that was becoming more frequent, he started to look elsewhere in March 2021

‘I realised I had arthritis about 6 months before the surgery. Mobility factors were the symptoms: ebbs and flows of intensity, sometimes there would be a flare up effect that would really announce itself, that would be ten times worse and then it would subside, but it was always present and impeding. Over time it gradually intensified, to the point I could barely walk from the intensity, so instead of waiting 6 months for another appointment, I decided to ask around and do some research.’

Finding his surgeon and Mako

Due to the fast progression of his arthritis, Michael decided to start asking around for recommendations.

I learned about the hospital at the hip centre in Epsom, where I did bump into one or two people who have had hip replacements before; particularly one lady who had Professor Field as her surgeon, so I reached out to him. His secretary responded the very next day and things from there went very rapidly forward.

The speed by which things progressed was really important to Michael, alongside someone listening to him and taking the situation seriously:

I got a call from his secretary very quickly: after leaving a message on the Monday, she called me Tuesday, I was able to see him hours after his secretary phoned me. That was such a relief, to get somebody on side and see the reality of the situation. I had done a bit of research and my local physio in Richmond recommended the Mako robotic surgery which Professor Field is an exponent of. I gathered he had a good reputation. I found him charming and pleasant.

Michael had done some research on the Mako robotic arm – a pioneering piece of equipment which helps our renowned surgeons carry out complex hip and knee joint replacements, in such a way that is completely tailored to the individual's needs. Compared to more traditional joint replacement methods, the Mako robotic surgical system allows for more accurate placement of implants - promoting a more natural feeling in the long term for your joints.

The surgery

Our leading specialists at The Lister Hospital, and in this case, Professor Richard Field, provided Michael with a completely personalised treatment plan, including a pre-operative CT scan on his right hip. The surgery was booked in for the 15th of July.

‘I arrived at 6.30am on a Friday morning – the 15th of July – I was prepared very quickly and shown to my room. Everything was a pleasant experience; the anaesthetist and Professor Field came in and there were final discussions about the surgery. From that moment, I felt that I was in secure hands. They were laughing as I was so excited to get the surgery, saying they don’t think they had had anyone like me before. I was in the theatre for just after 8am, woke up very bright and breezy as it was only an epidural, I was back in my room with an appetite and I was given a snack and followed by some lunch, with staff in attendance at all times.’ 

Rapid recovery time

A clear benefit of the modern Mako technique is the faster recovery times it leads to for patients. We support this at The Lister Hospital by creating an in-depth aftercare plan for you before you undergo surgery, with our consultants and physiotherapists agreeing set goals you wish to achieve after having your joint replaced. Michael, being an active person, liked this element of the Mako surgery:

‘After lunch on the day of the surgery Vincenzo (an Orthopaedic CNS) came and asked how I was doing, checked how steady I was. He said there was a possibility of me going home on the same day. I was fine with that, and we let Professor Field have the final call. I gather it was the first of its kind from The Lister, as I went home that evening. I am probably a bit of an exception as I am fairly fit and have kept myself fairly fit through my life. I didn’t need painkillers. It was a little bit sore but not really painful, which was amazing.’

Road to recovery

Michael shared the initial 6 weeks of recovery:

‘I had the crutches on for 6 weeks, which was until I saw Professor Field for a check-up. After 6 weeks I was on my feet and able to be moderate in activity and just step up activity gradually. I checked into my local physio who told me I need to forget about more aggressive exercise and got me in the slow lane first for my return to swimming, which is something I needed to be reminded of. I am now back to walking 5/6 miles a day. I do tend to overdo it, it was good to have my local physio to put the brakes on in those initial few months.’

Michael hip arthritis recovery.jpg

Reflecting on his time at The Lister

After a rapid recovery and a return to the exercise he loves, swimming and walking, Michael reflects once more on the excellent stay he had whilst at The Lister Hospital:

‘I had a friend of mine pick me up who is a Senior Nurse and I said to her The Lister Hospital has got a wonderful spirit of harmony. There is palpably and visibly a good spirit of harmony and I felt it was wonderfully effective and everyone was so personable. Willingness and cooperation between each other. To me, it was exemplary. It was a pleasure to be there. That was from the consultant all the way through to the nurses, the porter staff, the receptionist. It was fantastic.’

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