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Knee Surgery Doesn’t Have to be Career Ending

Roger Federer has undergone knee arthroscopic surgery and withdrawn from a number of tournaments including the French Open. Some are commenting that his age (he’s now 38) and the fact that he’s now had surgery on both knees, means that he may have to draw a close to his illustrious career. 

Knee arthroscopy is now being offered to fewer patients over the age of 35. Many surgeons are recognising that arthroscopy above this age tends to produce poorer outcomes. The reason for this probably relates to the presence of degenerative arthritis within the joint. 

In Mr Federer’s case, there is still a good chance for him to recover well and return to competitive tennis, assuming the surgery has been recommended for the correct reasons. Even if there is already some arthritis within his knees, keyhole surgery will successfully help with mechanical symptoms like catching and locking. Such symptoms can occur as a result of a cartilage tear or even a loose fragment floating around in the knee. And thankfully, modern knee arthroscopy techniques result in much less irritation to the knee. 

The operation can even be combined with injections of biological treatments into the knee. Something as simple as Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy / Concentrated Plasma Therapy extracted from a sample of his own blood at the time of the operation. This injection contains many mediators that can reduce inflammation, help with repair and encourage tissue repair inside the knee. 

Mr Federer also has the benefit of an excellent rehabilitation team to help him in his recovery. The team at Total Orthopaedics all wish him a speedy recovery!

Mr Simon Mellor

Mr Simon Mellor is the Lead for the Hip and Knee Unit at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and he has worked in Trauma and Orthopaedic surgery since 1996. He is one of the UK’s most prominent Anterior Approach Hip Replacement Surgeons, having utilised this muscle-sparing technique for hip replacements since 2012.

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