Husband and wife find new lease of life after hip replacements
Desmond and Francine had always had active lifestyles. Francine was a conference interpreter whose work frequently took her around Europe. In her early 40s she had decided to take up swimming and she was also a keen gardener. Her husband Desmond was an IT consultant and upon retiring had acquired a Master’s Degree in Philosophy. He was also a keen walker and regularly enjoyed going on walking holidays abroad. However, they were finding their level of activity threatened by stiffness and pain in their knees and hips.
In early 2018, Francine started to experience weakness in her right thigh and hip; several months earlier, her sister had pointed out that she was starting to limp. Indeed, she had had a fall on the stairs at home a couple of years before, without any fracture. X-rays at the time had shown “normal wear and tear” in the right hip. She now booked an appointment with her GP, who diagnosed tendonitis and referred her for physiotherapy on the NHS.
Since at the time, the wait for physiotherapy on the NHS was 6 weeks, she found a local physiotherapist online, Tom Stedman at Boost Physio. Tendonitis was confirmed, but much improved after a few weeks of treatment. Thinking that this problem was now under control, husband and wife left for a holiday in Tenerife.
Unfortunately, the long walks Francine usually enjoyed with her husband soon became impossible; Francine was in so much pain that she couldn’t walk further than a few hundred yards near the hotel. After returning home, she visited Tom again. Since there had been no improvement in spite of practising the exercises, Tom referred her to Mr Joyti Saksena at Total Orthopaedics.
On examination, Mr Saksena confirmed that she did have osteoarthritis in her right hip, associated with mobility issues, directly affecting her quality of life. Although physiotherapy was helpful, her condition was unlikely to improve. Therefore, Mr Saksena presented Francine with all of her options for treatment and recommended a total right hip replacement to improve both pain and mobility. The wait for surgery on the NHS was at least 5 months, so Francine opted to have the procedure done privately. She booked in for surgery and had her operation in early May 2018.
The operation was performed by Mr Saksena at Highgate Private Hospital and Francine was delighted with the service she received. Following the procedure, discomfort was minimal and pain was already much decreased. She was home 3 days after the operation and up and walking first with two crutches, then one crutch and six weeks later, able to drive the car, and to get back to swimming, including breaststroke. She soon was able to resume her normal daily routine, without pain or stiffness in her hip.
Then just a year after Francine’s surgery, her husband Desmond started to notice that he could no longer walk normally up the stairs to his study, was generally struggling to walk uphill and no longer could complete his usual distances. He was puzzled at this sudden development since he had just recently completed a walking trip in the Alps without any problems.
Remembering Francine’s recent experience, Desmond booked in to see Tom at Boost Physio. After about three sessions and three weeks of regular exercises, he wasn’t seeing any improvement, and his hip condition was really limiting his everyday activity, although he wasn’t in pain. Nevertheless, Tom referred him to Mr Saksena.
He was seen quickly and Mr Saksena had hip x-rays taken. It was clear from the results that he also had osteoarthritis and within 10 days he was booked in for surgery. While operating, Mr Saksena noted that his left hip was in much worse condition than the x-rays indicated and said that if he had put it off much longer it would have made the surgery more complex and riskier. Within a few days, Desmond was discharged from hospital and on the road to recovery.
Now fully recovered after her own hip operation, Francine was able to care for Desmond. She is now back to swimming and enjoys gardening and walking. Desmond is healing well and his hip is getting stronger every day. Soon he’ll be back to enjoying longer walks.
Mr Saksena was delighted to treat Francine and Desmond and says ‘they did the right thing by recognising that something was not right and took action to address the problem early on. Ultimately, they chose to pay for their treatment so they could get back sooner to their daily activities and favourite sports.’
Mr Joyti Saksena is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, specialising in hip and knee conditions. He has a keen interest in joint preservation surgery and improving surgical and quality of life outcomes. His aim is to provide enhanced recovery by adopting approaches that improve the whole patient journey from pre-operative assessment to post-operative rehabilitation.