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Pauline’s knee replacement surgery success

Pauline Heselgrave's total knee replacement at Benenden Hospital

Pauline Heselgrave had a total knee replacement at Benenden Hospital under Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon, Mr Matt Oliver in October 2021. Discover how Pauline’s left knee joint went from worn cartilage to walking free of pain and soreness following private orthopaedic surgery. Read on to explore her patient journey.

What symptoms were you experiencing in your knee and did you do anything to help?

“I had been experiencing pain in my left knee and hip for quite a few years. My knee started to lock on crossing my legs when sitting and would give way when walking. The pilates I was doing was helping to maintain some mobility in my leg but as time went on the pain and soreness felt worse.

“I tried a knee support band and booked an appointment with a private Physiotherapist for further help. They thought I should be referred to an orthopaedic specialist. As with most people, I was nervous at the prospect of having an operation, however, when I was hobbling around the supermarket one day, I knew my mind was made up.”

Can you tell us about your referral process to our hospital?

“After seeing my GP, they thought I had a torn meniscus and said they would refer me elsewhere for treatment. I asked if I could be referred to Benenden Hospital and my GP was happy to do so. As I’m a member of Benenden Health, I could access further Physiotherapy and diagnostic tests through my membership.

“My first physiotherapy appointment was done by telephone as it was during Covid. After hearing my symptoms, my Physiotherapist felt I should be referred to an orthopaedic Surgeon and an appointment was made at Benenden Hospital with Mr Matt Oliver.

What happened during your initial consultation?

“Straight away, on seeing me walk, Mr Oliver sent me for an x-ray which confirmed his thoughts that the cartilage in my knee had worn away and that bone was rubbing on bone. He said I needed a total knee replacement and that there were no other options that would help my knee.

“Mr Oliver explained the procedure and said the waiting list for the NHS was lengthy following Covid and would be shorter if I accessed treatment at Benenden Hospital. I knew I would receive a discount as a benefit of being a Benenden Health member. Mr Oliver explained the procedure and my x-ray results. He also explained how my knee joint would look after the replacement surgery. He said that I needed to do the exercises I would be given to aid recovery for strength and movement in the leg.”

How was the preoperative advice you received?

“I opted to undergo a total knee replacement at Benenden Hospital and after a couple of months, I heard from the preoperative assessment clinic with an appointment date. During this, I was taken through the procedures and tests, the Anaesthetist was particularly sympathetic and understanding of how nervous I felt and was very reassuring.

I was given a booklet that described everything that would happen so I was well prepared. From going into Benenden Hospital for my operation to going home, everything was explained to me by the nursing and theatre staff.”

How was your recovery from knee replacement surgery?

“The Physiotherapist had me up and walking the day after my operation. Mr Oliver came to see me that day and was pleased with the movement in my leg and said he would see me in six weeks, although if I felt I needed an appointment before not to hesitate to contact the hospital.

“After my second night in my private ensuite room, the physio came to see me again and was happy that I could walk and manage stairs with crutches and said I could be discharged. He made a follow-up appointment for three weeks to check on my recovery. The nursing staff were very caring and efficient, which gave me confidence in my recovery.”

What were the facilities and staff like at our hospital?

“The hospital room was clean and spacious and had everything I needed for my stay. The rest of the facilities I used e.g. outpatients and the physiotherapy departments were really nice and staff were always friendly and helpful.”

Would you recommend Benenden Hospital to anyone considering orthopaedic surgery?

“Over a year and a half on, I am now free of pain in my knee and can now walk instead of hobble around. Benenden Hospital served me well and I have recommended it to a friend who recently had a hip operation. To anyone who is considering joint replacement: do your exercises to increase your joint mobility and to aid your recovery! I arrived at Benenden Hospital with a crooked leg and left with a straight one.”

Considering private treatment?

Whether you want to access our tests and scans or GP service to diagnose a health concern, or you’re looking to have private orthopaedic surgery or physiotherapy to ease your pain, we can help. 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 10 August 2023