When and how did your knee problems begin?
2005 – aged 40. Problem developed over time, probably due to a trauma through running, but got worse and worse until the point in 2005 when I had to give up running. At the time I was running sub 3 hour marathons and it was a really devastating blow to have to give up the sport I loved.
My first operation was in 2007, an arthroscopic wash out and debridement.
I gave up running, and concentrated just on cycling. My knee improved a lot and the pain mostly went away. Things were good for 8 years. Problems started again in 2015 aged 50.
How did your injury impact your life?
It affected me massively, I felt really down. My whole lifestyle was running. My hobby, my social life, my passion was all about running. It was really hard and it really got me down.
Did you try other treatments?
Yes, everything. Physio, acupuncture, yoga. Nothing worked. I went back to my consultant and he did another arthroscopy and gave me an injection into the knee. This was 2017. The knee improved for a month but it was very temporary and the problems returned very quickly. I was in pain constantly, I couldn’t bend my knee or it would give way, which was really disappointing as I enjoy DIY and looking after the house. My passion for the past 10 years since the first arthroscopy had been cycling, but now I was unable to ride for long distances and was unable to get out of the saddle to climb the hills.
I was worried there would be no more options for me as I was past 50, but I desperately wanted to avoid having a knee replacement as it seemed such a drastic operation for a bit of persistent knee pain!!
That’s when I did some research and found an interesting man on instagram who had an Episealer surgery on his knee after 4 previous failed arthroscopies. And I thought this could be the answer to my prayers!
How would you describe the rehabilitation and recovery after the surgery?
The information I received from the surgeon, from Episurf and from previous patients really helped. The surgeon’s advice was give it 12 months – anything sooner is a bonus. So I worked hard at the rehab, and I was back on my bike after 6 months but taking it very easy. By 9 months I did a 100km ride on a road bike, and after a year I felt strong enough to get back in the saddle on my mountain bike.
How would you describe your life today?
Brilliant, compared to in 2017 its fantastic. I can now do the sport I love at the level I want to. Its now 2 years since my Episurf surgery, and even in the past 6 months I can feel my leg getting stronger and stronger.
I was really anxious from 2017 when my problems returned, up to the point of my surgery in 2019 that I would be forced to give up cycling, which would be really devastating after previously being forced to give up running. My passion is cycling, my social life is cycling, all my friends do lots of cycling, so to give it up would leave a huge hole in my life. Having the Episealer gave me my life back.
You recently competed in a cycling event – How did your knee hold up and how are you feeling after the event?
My knee held up perfectly during the event which I put down to the implant and the advice I was given pre and post op about slowly building up the muscles. If anything my knee is stronger after the event!