Two failed knee surgeries left me scared for a third, however I finally found the right specialist at Schoen Clinic London.
Sarah had operations on both of her knees due to previous injuries. Unfortunately as time went on the pain she experienced in her right knee got worse. After thorough research into revision knee replacement surgeons kept leading her to Mr Rhidian Morgan-Jones, she booked her appointment and finally found the solution to her knee pain problem.
With a long career as a physical theatre performer, accidents and injuries are par for the course. However, in 1991 I had a very bad fall which badly injured my right knee and would unwittingly change the course of my life. A wonderful surgeon performed an emergency central ligament repair on my right knee, after which I had to learn to walk and swim again. He gave me such confidence in myself and my ability to recover fully that I went back to performing.
But then came another fall, which injured my left knee. Luckily, my trusted surgeon was on-hand to repair that one too and after further intensive physio and rehab went back to living my life, travelling the world and performing.
Unfortunately my right knee began to get more painful and harder to ignore, so after much consideration (my fantastic surgeon had now sadly passed away) I saw another Orthopaedic Surgeon who performed a half-knee replacement in 2015. Prior to this surgery, I did a lot of ‘pre-hab’ training to stay as strong as possible and to aid my post-op rehabilitation. Sadly, despite mine and my physio's best efforts, my knee didn't improve following the procedure. The pin that was keeping my knee secure kept coming out - leaving me with difficulty walking and worse pain than I was in before having the surgery.
Exactly a year later in 2016, I had surgery again but with a different surgeon and again my new knee didn't 'take'. Once again I was left in a huge amount of pain, unable to do the most basic everyday tasks, let alone perform. This was hugely disappointing and tremendously disheartening.
At this point I knew I needed to find a surgeon who had the experience and skill to definitively fix my knee. I threw myself into researching revision specialists and that's when I found Mr Rhidian Morgan-Jones. I was weighing up my options between travelling to Rhidian in London and another Specialist closer to home in Yorkshire. However, my research kept bringing me back to Rhidian and I made an appointment to see him.
I met Rhidian in 2019 and from our first meeting I knew that he was the right surgeon for me. He was calm, methodical and really focussed on helping me. He examined and x-rayed my knee and gave a very clear analysis of the situation, clearly explaining what had gone wrong with my previous surgeries.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the loss of my mother meant I had to delay my surgery for a year, but as soon as I was given the green light from Rhidian for surgery, I made the journey back to London for my new knee.
Walking into Schoen Clinic London for my third knee operation was understandably scary. What if this one wasn't going to be successful either? They also had special safety measures in place due to the pandemic and were limiting the number of people in the hospital. Because of this they had a temporary ‘no visitor’ policy and I had to go alone to the hospital, I wasn’t able to have visitors before or after the operation. However, the welcoming environment and staff members really helped me feel more at ease. The beautiful hospital not only gives you a feeling of calmness and serenity, you can also get a sense that everyone who works there wants to be there.
The teams couldn't have been more welcoming and courteous at every stage of my journey. I've never seen such great teamwork and communication between colleagues – if all hospitals operated like this, the world would be a better place!
I woke up from surgery and felt immediate relief. I didn't feel in pain or drugged; (compared to the previous two operations) I felt like this surgery had 'worked'. Barry, the Anaesthetist, who was truly wonderful, had come to see me and it was so evident to see that the working relationship between him, Rhidian, the Physiotherapists and Nurses was excellent. It felt like they were all there to make me feel better. I felt in very safe hands.
I stayed in hospital for five days and I have to say the recovery from surgery was very easy. A huge emphasis was placed on ‘Rapid Recovery’ - which is a rehabilitation programme to get you moving again as soon and safely as possible, with utmost care about the patient getting better. I spent the following week at a rehabilitation facility before heading back to my children in Yorkshire. This also was an amazing opportunity and I had hydrotherapy there that was so beneficial. I saw an excellent Physiotherapist who I had done my pre-hab with in Yorkshire and this is where I continued my rehabilitation. Proper rehab is imperative to making a full and swift recovery after surgery. The surgeon does their work but the longest part of the journey is up to the patient, with lots of determination and patience!
Now, 10 months on my right knee feels more stable than it has done in years. Sadly my left knee needs replacing now, but I feel safe in the knowledge that when the time comes I have found the right Surgeon for the job. I will hopefully be able to return to Schoen Clinic London too - I cannot recommend highly enough.
I thank all of the people involved and the teams mentioned here.
Mr Rhidian Morgan-Jones is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon specialising in knee problems at Schoen Clinic London. Gain fast access to world-class treatment by opting to pay-as-you-go and self-fund your surgery with Mr Rhidian Morgan-Jones. Just call 0203 929 1086 or email email@example.com Alternatively, you could use your health insurance.