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Fred has arthritic hip replaced and feels like ‘a different person’

Fred Salvage - Hip replacement patient

Before Fred Salvage had his right hip replaced by Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr Matthew Oliver in July 2022 he was suffering from osteoarthritis. “Since my operation, I’m regaining the eight years that I’ve lost because of the problems I had with my hip.” Read on to learn about Fred’s patient journey at our private hospital:

What symptoms were you suffering from?

"In 2011 I retired from being a Customs Officer and moved to live in France. I continued doing a bit of work for the World Customs Organisation and the EU and in 2014 I took part in a Customs Operation in Brazil. Whilst getting out of a 4x4 vehicle I strained my right hamstring. I didn’t think anything of it so I returned to France in the hopes it would just correct itself. But it didn’t improve it only got worse and worse.

“When I came back to the UK, I renewed my Benenden Health membership (I’d been a member since about 1978) but cancelled it when I moved to France because I couldn’t access any of the benefits while there.”

Why did you choose Benenden Hospital?

“My hip pain was gradually getting worse so I was offered and received physiotherapy through the NHS. Unfortunately, this didn’t improve my symptoms. Then I contacted Benenden Health because I’m a member and they organised further physio. However, this didn’t work for me either!

“As a result, Benenden Health authorised a pathway so I could have an X-ray which showed that my hip was unfortunately falling to pieces with osteoarthritis. At this point I realised I couldn’t continue with just having physiotherapy, I needed surgery.

“Benenden Health said to me that – although the operation to replace the hip wasn’t covered by the membership – the authorisation I had covered an initial Consultation to see Mr Matt Oliver at Benenden Hospital. Mr Oliver was wonderful and I had another X-ray done and could see that the right hip was shot away – it was just a fog on the screen. He gave me a couple of options: refer me back to the NHS or be treated at Benenden Hospital. With the pain and the deterioration of my quality of life, it was a no brainer; I chose to be treated at Benenden Hospital as a self-pay patient.”

Fred's hip replacement journey

Learn about Fred's hip replacement journey and his advice for those considering joint replacement surgery.

Consultant, staff and surroundings

“My first impressions of Mr Oliver were that he was very professional and friendly and I instantly felt safe. Then later, during my stay, I found Mr Oliver’s bedside manner superb which was excellent for me because this was my first overnight stay in a hospital. I’ve recently seen him for a follow-up consultation and he hasn’t changed I’m pleased to say – a lovely man.

“Everything went very smoothly with the hospital. From the start, Benenden Hospital were very quick to contact me with letters and emails about the safety requirements, pre and post operative advice and what to expect during surgery. From start to finish I couldn’t have asked for anything better I really couldn’t.

“I came to Benenden Hospital to have hip replacement surgery on 12 July and I was discharged on the morning of the 14 July. When I arrived at the hospital on 12 July, from meeting the receptionist, the nursing staff, the cleaners, the catering staff, the physiotherapist, the Consultant, Paul the Porter – everyone put me at ease straight away.

“Benenden Hospital is set in a lovely part of the country. I live in Dover which is not too far away but this is in the heart of Kent which is lovely. The hospital itself is light and airy and it doesn’t feel like a hospital when you enter it. When I went up to the wards to see my room, I was astonished to find it had an ensuite! I’ve stayed in many hotels throughout my 70 years, but the only complaint I’ve got is it didn’t have a mini bar!”

Advice from Fred

“Since the operation, I’ve found that I’m a different person. I’m regaining the eight years that I’ve lost because of the problems I had with my hip. I can go out walking now and not feel afraid to meet people I know while I’m out and about. Before I would worry about silly things like ‘what foot should I put forward first?’ because it was so bad.

“Recovery-wise, I’ve still got a bit of a way to go yet because I’ve got some physiotherapy to do but I’m sure if I do the exercises I’ll be back to normal.

“I would certainly recommend Benenden Hospital for hip replacement surgery. I found that it really was wonderful. This was a no brainer because I couldn’t have gone another six months to a year with my symptoms, so it was the best decision I could have made.

“If anyone is thinking about joint replacement surgery I would say – don’t wait for it just do it!”

Considering private hip and knee replacement surgery?

To contact us about private hip and knee replacement surgery, book a consultation today by completing our online booking form, contacting us via Livechat or by calling our Private Patient Team on 01580 363 158.

Published on 11 October 2022