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Josephine Renton: My hip replacement experience

Josephine Renton, hip replacement patient at Benenden Hospital

Josephine had her left hip replaced at our hospital in August 2022 by Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon, Mr Matthew Oliver after suffering from painful, debilitating symptoms. “About a month and a half post-surgery, I could walk everywhere completely unaided.”

Learn more about Josephine’s patient journey and read her poem for Mr Oliver.

What symptoms did you experience?

"I was suffering with awful pain in my left thigh and I couldn’t stretch my leg back. So I booked an appointment with my doctor and he explained to me: ‘That pain is in your hip not your thigh.’

"The symptoms weren’t too bad for at least six months and I could still walk which was the main thing. However, about a year later, I went to see my doctor again and when I explained that my hip pain had worsened, he sent me to see a specialist where I had an x-ray. After my x-ray, I decided to go private to have faster access to treatment and as I’m also a longstanding Benenden Health member, it made sense to do so.

"I live in the coastal town of Broadstairs, near Margate, which is an hour and a half drive from Benenden Hospital. It may be a long drive but it’s a beautiful one through the Wealden countryside, also known as the garden of Kent."

What happened at your initial consultation?

“When I visited Benenden Hospital, I had my first consultation with Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon, Mr Matthew Oliver. We had a very productive initial consultation because Mr Oliver had been forwarded the results from my x-ray. I was very impressed that he explained the x-ray to me in layman’s terms because otherwise I wouldn’t have understood why I was in so much pain. I was then told that I would need hip replacement surgery and he explained how it is carried out.

“Although the surgery sounded drastic at the time, I felt reassured by the fact that thousands of people have had the same operation so I wasn’t very worried about it. I’d also spoken to friends who’d had the operation and I concluded that there was very little to worry about in terms of my surgery.”

Josephine's hip replacement surgery success

Josephine had her left hip replaced by Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon, Mr Matthew Oliver, after suffering from painful, debilitating symptoms. Listen to her talking about her journey at our CQC rated Outstanding private hospital.

What happened on the day of your surgery?

“I had my operation in early August and my daughter drove me to the hospital. As soon as I awoke in theatre recovery, Mr Oliver reassured me it had all gone well so I was instantly relieved.”

What happened during your recovery?

Bart Albrycht, a Senior Physiotherapist at Benenden Hospital, visited me on the first morning after surgery. He taught me how to move around and I was able to walk down the corridor with two crutches. I felt so at ease and ready to complete my recovery when I headed home.

“The main thing that worried me about surgery was the aftermath and how helpless I could potentially be. I’m a very independent person and I hate losing this in any shape or form. But I need not have worried! Relying on others was really cut to the minimum when I got home as I was already pretty independent with daily activities.

“I was quite ambitious regarding the speed of my recovery. After two days, my crutches were gathering dust in the corner and I graduated to a walking stick. After another week of using the walking stick indoors and outdoors, I didn’t use it indoors anymore. Two weeks after my operation, I walked down the aisle of my church completely unaided as I’m a member of the choir.

“Overall, Benenden Hospital is absolutely lovely and you really feel like an individual person under the care of a private hospital. I found everyone very helpful and the general ambiance was very pleasant.”

To Mr Oliver

“The care that I received at Benenden was excellent and I cannot fault it. And a special thank you to you - To quote the words of the woman who visited you just before I did ‘You have changed my life’. And now I too can get on with the business of living again.

I’m glad you outlined to me, the trajectory of my recovery. I know now, approximately what to expect. I love going for walks along the seafront (which I can now do again) the sea is never the same. It is always interesting. I just thought you might like to know a little more about the owner of that hip you operated on so beautifully.”

Josephine’s poem: Hip operation at Benenden Hospital

Shopping and washing on Saturday, worried on Sunday. Packed on Monday. No breakfast on Tuesday. Tuesday is operation day.

Covid was negative. Mood really positive. Countryside beautiful and hospital luxuriously suitable.

A bed that’s adjustable, armchairs waterproof but comfortable, bathroom that’s functional.

I hung my nightie on a hanger for the first time in its life.

Operation half past two, case unpacked, not much to do.

I put on airy cotton gown, slippers and my dressing gown.

‘Can you walk to the theatre? A bit of exercise is always better.’

I climb up on a narrow table while they check my name and labels.

'This will be quite cold I fear.’ The ice hits my back like metal spears.

But that is all I knew or know apart from a psychedelic show.

I saw colours bright and wavy lines, was I at sea in stranger climes.

I didn’t want it all to stop but suddenly it did and all went ‘pop’.

Then the surgeon’s face loomed large - ‘It all went well, no problems there. I’ll now leave you to the nurses’ care.’

That first night was really hard. My legs felt like two lumps of lard.

Then I felt a tingling in my toes. They had returned from where who knows.

Next day, the therapist by the name of Bart, gave me an easy exercise to start.

Then he got me on my feet, I felt bereft without a seat.

The crutches rattled on the floor as I hobbled slowly through the door.

The door to future life and freedom.

Jo Renton August 2022

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Published on 12 January 2023