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Brilliant knee surgeon

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I was going to add this to another thread, but then realised that I had rambled on far more than a simple recommendation (it included my bitter, ever so slightly political, rant about the NHS):

I have nothing but praise for John Hardy, who works at SOC Bristol, BUPA Cromwell London and Chelsea Outpatients. I completely buggered my knee in January skiing in Italy (the first time I've ever hurt my knee skiing). Foolishly, I ignored the doctor's advice in resort and skied on (I didn't want to lose out on pay, and was coaching a really good group of skiers, excellent fun). Now skip a paragraph if you don't want to read my bitter ramblings.

I got back to Blighty and foolishly went through the rigmarole of trying to get a sports injury suitably attended to by the NHS (I struggle to think of a less productive thing to do with one's time). Having explained my story to about three different GPs in the space of three weeks I was finally referred for physio (despite none of them confirming what was wrong with the knee). After several weeks I got an appointment. If I recall correctly, it was about three months after the injury that I finally saw a physiotherapist... (Hurrah! Hopefully things work a little quicker for more hazardous health concerns...) I had a very general appointment, at which I was given a few exercises and little else (still, no-one had done any more than guess at what might be wrong with my knee). I missed my second appointment as I was very sick. As such I was immediately taken off the physio's books - they weren't interested in the slightest that I couldn't give 25 hours notice of non-attendance (24 hours before the appointment I was unaware that I was going to be getting to know my loo so well the next day Evil or Very Mad ).

So, remembering (far too late, for my sanity) that I had BUPA cover, I took a look, asked around and read a few journal articles etc to find a good knee consultant. I finally came to the conclusion that John Hardy seemed to be at the forefront of the knee field, and seemed to have a very good track record with sports injuries (and therefore dealing the the requirements of athletes or the generally sporty and active). I went along and saw him, bit of a trek up to London from Plymouth (but ultimately worth it). He did a very thorough examination and suggested a few things which might be causing my problems. Unlike the NHS, however, he decided to actually confirm it. He pointed out that if one of his predictions (cartilage damage) was correct, the physio which the NHS seemed intent on providing (or not) was more-or-less the worst thing that could be done. The MRI results came back and his predictions were pretty much spot on - torn ACL and a ruptured fat pad which was then caught behind my patella. Thankfully no cartilage damage showed up on the scan. He recommended some specific physio which I went and did (taping to try and remove the fat pad from under my patella in as non-invasive a manner as possible, plus some sports massage on my muscles to aid the general recovery).

Sadly, this didn't work fantastically... Apparently it has about a 50-50 success rate. So, as a last resort, I went under the knife. Brilliant result is all I can say! I felt the difference within hours when he came up to check how my post-op recovery was going - I stood up and felt my knee fully extend for the first time in nearly 11 months! There had been cartilage damage, which hadn't shown up on the MRI, as well as something to do with a plica (which I'd apparently had since birth). Naturally he tidied up everything else that needed doing whilst he was in there and removed the guilty fat pad. I kid you not when I tell you the following: two weeks after the op I was feeling great, walking was excellent and at times felt better than pre-injury (though that may just have been elation) - I even went for a bit of a yomp up on Dartmoor; less than three weeks after the op I was playing squash (and the only part of my body which wasn't in agony the following day was the knee); and six weeks and a day after the operation I was skiing again (though I have to admit that I decided to give the moguls a miss until my muscles have recovered as much as the knee!) snowHead

I can't recommend this surgeon highly enough. I even got a lovely video of the inside of my knee from the operation. Toofy Grin
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Wow recovery needed from a ACL tear and cartilage damage repaired and playing squash only three weeks after Puzzled you was brave.

I only had part of the cartilage removed and a clean out and didnt dream about getting back on a squash court for a least 2 months.
I was doing squats and lunges with body weight after about 4 weeks and only after adding weights to that did I feel squash wouldnt hamper my recovery.

Did you tell the surgeon that you played squash just 3 weeks after th op ?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
skisimon, Good news you are on the mend.

Out of interest what was the bill ?
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skisimon, what did you have done - tidy up of meniscus, plica and fat pad? I assume the ACL was partially torn and not repaired in the op, you can't have had an ACL reconstruction if you were playing squash 3 weeks later?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
gra, indeed, that's more-or-less what happened as I recall, no reconstruction (partial tear as you say, not fully ruptured). By this stage it was 11 months after the injury, so I suspect it was largely healed of its own accord (though was still showing some damage at the MRI).

Renry, whilst the tear wasn't really part of the op, I have to say that I usually cut things a bit on the silly side when it comes to injury recovery (or lack thereof). I once played my best game of rugby having broken my wrist in the first two minutes of the match... Also walked up Ben Nevis with a heavily strapped 'sprained' ankle - an x-ray the next day showed that it was actually broken.

The only thing I was specifically told I couldn't start until he gave me the all clear was road running, due to the impact.

AndAnotherThing.., cheers. As for the bill... had I been paying the whole bill... around £5,750 (inc consultations, physio, op, MRI and anaesthetist, but not hospital fees). As it was, with my cover, it should be about £2,000 - though at the moment it appears to be more like £500 (which I shan't complain about, hoping the admin error isn't picked up). Both my consultant and a relative who works for a health insurance company have recommended that I move over to WPA though (the relative works for another company). They cough up in full, save a small excess (with them the bill would have been about £500 anyway, not £2,000). Right, I think that's enough numbers to put most people to sleep...
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skisimon,Cheers for the info. £6k would quite a hit if you have to pay for it your self Sad
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Interesting about John Hardy and a new technique in yesterdays Daily Mail
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Sounds very similar to the equipment he used in my knee. I have to echo the reporter's experience within just hours of the op.

Now then... let's see if this works. Here's the video of part of my op:

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150940702510294
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
skisimon, wow, great vid.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
skisimon, Great to hear your knee is fine now.

But a word of warning regarding a change of health insurance companies at this stage. Unless you can find one that will cover you for warts & all - very expensive & hard to find - a new insurance company will want a good 2 years with no treatment/consultations on any knee related issues, and will exclude it from your policy. I deal with medical insurance companies every day at work, & agree that WPA are good though. Just be careful.

I'm a bit scared to watch your vid as I'm probably about to have my ACL repaired soon - MRI today. Maybe later wink
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Very interesting reading and John Hardy certainly sounds like the man to see.
I am also in Plymouth and wondered if he sees patients in Bristol ?
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
AndAnotherThing.. wrote:
skisimon,Cheers for the info. £6k would quite a hit if you have to pay for it your self Sad


I just noticed the date on my post - if only I'd known !!!
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Wow, clearly been a while since I was last on snowHeads... Sad

valneedham, sorry for the late reply, but yes, John Hardy does also see patients in Bristol (I actually had my op in Bristol, despite having my consultations in London). Here's his website for information on where he works: http://www.johnhardy.co.uk/

AndAnotherThing.., oops. Just spent a while reading through your thread, sounds like quite an ordeal. Glad to see that your slowly getting there, it can be so infuriating at times!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
skisimon, Cheers, with rose tinted spec's it's not been so bad so far Toofy Grin The proof of the pudding comes in December I think.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
AndAnotherThing.. wrote:
skisimon, Cheers, with rose tinted spec's it's not been so bad so far Toofy Grin The proof of the pudding comes in December I think.
My Patella is popping in and out.. had physio but didnt do any good.. what could i have doen to put my knee right, my other knee is now showing signs of the same. Ive just started Skiing and dont want to give it up as i really enjoy it.. Very Happy
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I went to see Hardy back in the day. My brother has had both his kness done (for differnet reasons than those for which I was seeking help) and recommended him. I was diagnosed with Patella tendonitis (probably caused by an old parachuting injury) which is also related to the Hoffa's fat pad and also found that physio, etc. did not work. The difference, I believe, was the odds I was quoted at the time (which were confirmed at a later second opinion): outcome of the op = approx 25% better, 50% the same and 25% worse. I took the view that I did not want to risk never skiing again, aquired a patella supporting knee brace and now grit my teeth - a lot. I might re-vist the issue later in life but I just wanted you cuddly people to be aware that this sort of knee op is not a 'no risk' affair. Having Hardy at work will def. shorten the odds in your favour but he will be the first to tell you he can't beat genetics/fate/decreptitude.

ps. those odds do not include the standard hospital operation MRSA/cock-op factor, that you get as a freebie extra.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hi Thats great, ive got a strap and im gritting my teeth lots and taking pain killers, so yes maybe thats the answer, age etc plays a part too im sure and i did used to road run.. Thanks for the reply Rose
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