Company chairman and sailing enthusiast, Ian Dighé, took the time to do some thorough research to ensure he had the best surgeon to replace not one, but both of his knees.
Here he talks about his experience, and advises anyone contemplating a total knee replacement to take the post-operative physiotherapy extremely seriously.
“I had extreme, consistent pain in both of my knees and by 2016 myright leg was beginning to bow. I couldn’t be as active as I wanted and wasn’t able to sleep properly; even simple things like walking down a staircase or walking any distance was painful.
An MRI scan indicated I needed surgery and my GP gave me the option of seeing someone in Winchester, Southampton or Portsmouth. I took the time to do some research into knee surgeons – both online and anecdotal. I made enquiries and Philip Chapman-Sheath’s name kept coming up. I made an appointment to see him and was very glad I did –– nobody enjoys having bits of their leg sawn and messed about with, but I was pretty glad it was him doing it!
His reputation gave me confidence as to the likely outcomes, and I liked his open, friendly yet authoritative style. He’s a surgeon who is easy to trust. Philip is pretty forthright which I found refreshing. He was clear and thorough in chatting to me, as well as to my wife. We knew exactly what to expect.
In March 2017 I had my right knee replaced at the Spire Hospital, where I spent five nights. The anesthetist and the rest of the surgical team were all excellent, although my recovery was slightly hindered as I experienced a hematoma following the operation. I returned in February 2018 to have the same surgery on my left knee.
Philip was very transparent about what to expect and encourages you to have realistic expectations, so there were no surprises.
Having said that, total knee replacement is undoubtedly a traumatic operation and my advice to anyone considering it would be to take the rehab extremely seriously, or don’t bother having the operation. You’re wasting your time if you don’t do the exercises and the physio.
I used the physio service at Spire Southampton which was very good, but also saw a fully qualified physiotherapist closer to home in Winchester. It was intense but helped lead to pretty fast and very effective recovery from both operations.
I worked hard to regain mobility and build strength and still do knee-specific exercises twice a week – it is part and parcel of having the operation. I’m in my early 60s, and I believe this is especially important for people my age.
Following the operations, the excruciating pain in both of my knees has totally gone.
The new knees do take a bit of getting used to. The patella moves, and I know I won’t ever kneel in quite the same way. I’m enjoying my sailing and my pain-free mobility.”