Mensah Elliott, a world record-breaking athlete, had an MRI scan and hydrodistension injection in his left Achilles tendon at our hospital in November 2022. “After struggling with my sporting injury on and off for ten years, I knew I needed to put my health first. So, I used my Benenden Health membership to get the fast diagnosis and treatment I needed.”
Read on to find out more about Mensah’s patient journey as he recovers from his injury.
Can you tell us more about your athletics?
“I’ve been doing athletics training, specifically the 60m sprint and hurdles, for 25 years now. I’m proud to say I represent Great Britain and I compete in the master’s category. In this category, you start at the age of 35 and every five years you progress.
“While in the M40 category, I broke the British record for the 60-metre hurdles and last year, in my current M45 category I managed to break the same record! My goal is to break it again before I move to the M50 age group. In this year’s (2023) World Masters Athletics Indoor Championships which was held from 26 March to 1 April, I finished fourth in the 60m finals, in a time of 7.18 seconds. This also placed me fourth in the World Masters Rankings for the M45 60m sprints.
“Considering my limitations due to the Achilles injury, I'm very pleased indeed and it just goes to show how getting a sporting injury seen to can help you to get back on track!”
What symptoms did you experience?
“The main symptom I experienced was a pain behind my heel on both feet, mainly in my left foot, in the Achilles tendon which is a thick tendon that links the muscles in your calf to your heel.”
According to the National Library of Medicine, athletes in running sports are commonly affected by Achilles tendon overuse injuries. About 75% of total tendon injuries are related to sporting activities which involve abrupt repetitive jumping and sprinting movements.
Mensah continues: “I suffered with this issue ongoing for about 10 years and with my daily life I just go about my business as normal and push through. However, as an athlete, it was really hindering my progress and getting to the point where the pain was making it difficult at times to even walk. I knew enough was enough and needed to look into what was going on.”
Mensah's Achilles injection success.
Masters Athlete Mensah Elliott had his Achilles injection after suffering from painful, debilitating symptoms. Listen to his story and patient journey at our CQC rated Outstanding private hospital.
How was your patient journey?
“I’ve been a Benenden Health member since 2014 and have visited Benenden Hospital for treatment before. After the first six months of membership, more benefits will become available to you.
“I contacted Benenden Health to ask about Physiotherapy for my Achilles injury. A telephone assessment was completed and I was then referred for an initial three sessions, which was increased to six. The Physiotherapist then completed the final report, which I sent to my GP, who referred me to the NHS. However, as the wait on the NHS was in excess of eight weeks, I contacted Benenden Health again and they referred me to Benenden Hospital for an MRI scan for further diagnosis .”
“For my initial consultation, I saw Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Mr Baljinder Singh Dhinsa. He was very good and very clear at explaining what my MRI results showed. Communications were good and his responses to my emails were very quick.
“I had informative leaflets sent to me and when I returned to see Mr Dhinsa, he explained the procedure I would be having – the hydrodistension injection, the pros and the cons and he reassured me that I wasn’t having an injection containing steroids – a no-go for a competing athlete.
Day of procedure
“On the day of my procedure in November 2022, I was introduced to another consultant and they were just as clear and professional with what was going to happen. He administered the injection and it was such a quick, relatively pain-free experience. I was at the hospital for what seemed no more than 10 minutes.
Facilities and surroundings
“This isn’t the first time I’ve had treatment here. It doesn’t feel like a hospital when I come here – it’s light, spacious and welcoming. The staff are friendly, very informative and helpful.
“My drive to Benenden Hospital is about an hour from where I live, but it’s located in the nice countryside with so much open space, so it’s lovely.”
How was your recovery?
“It’s three months on from my injection and my Achilles pain has improved a little with my physio accompanying it too. I’m back to my athletics training and I’ve got a race coming up in a few days, so we’ll see how it goes!
“I’d definitely recommend Benenden Hospital to anyone, not just athletes. It’s a small amount for membership each month, with no excess. After six months you can get physio, scans and there’s lots of other benefits Fstoo.
“Throughout my time in athletics, I’ve had injuries - and people I know have too - but getting treated here is definitely something I’ve been able to prioritise since becoming a member. The process of getting seen by a consultant is easy and quick. So, I definitely recommend you become a member and get your sporting injuries sorted.”
Sports injury care
Whether you're an amateur or a professional athlete, sports injuries can be a frustrating and painful part of participating in physical activity. In our sports injury care guides, you'll find information on some of the most common sports injuries. We'll provide tips and techniques for preventing these injuries, as well as expert advice on how to manage pain and discomfort, to get back to doing the activities you love as quickly as possible.
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Published on 02 April 2023