"My new knee"

About: Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre

(as the patient),

I'd had a damaged left knee for over 30 years which gradually got more arthritic and painful. Continuous limping then began to make my left hip and sacroilliacs to start complaining, and I decided enough was enough. This was in October 2009

A visit to the GP's and an X-ray proved there was no hip damage and a knee replacement was recommended.

We booked in the referral to Barlborough over the internet and got a booking in 2 weeks for assessment. They didn't have any of the normal too-ing and fro-ing to see different people, I met everybody who was involved over about 3 hours, and left with a crystal-clear plan of what was to be done and how, including a date for the operation in 3 weeks.

That makes 5 weeks from a decision to refer from the GP to actual procedure, that's not bad, is it?

I went in on the Wed Evening, and was on the wagon on the way to the Theatre at 0930 hours the next morning. Due to the mild sedative and the happy supportive staff, the whole experience was almost pleasant, no stress or worry,.Even when Daisy and the anaesthetist were making the final preparations, we listened and joked about the hammering, sawing and drilling sounds coming through from the theatre carrying out the patient's operation in front of me. I only mention this so it doesn't take you by surprise.

I had an epidural while I waited and expected to be able to stay awake and chat throughout the op. I've no idea what the anaesthetist was doing but I went floating into theatre with a smile and joke and just went to sleep.

The next thing I knew I woke up quickly and clearly in the recovery room, none of the normal post anaesthetic side effects (such as extended sickness and tiredness).

Back up the ward, which has little cubicles, with 2 or 4 beds in each. Mine was only two beds. The other was occupied by Dave who had a hip replaced the same morning, so by lunchtime we were happily comparing notes. (Many thanks to Dave for putting up with my wierd sense of humour!!!)

Recovery was pretty unspectacular as they say, gentle attentive nursing and intravenous pain killers made it virtually pain free. (Don't believe friends and relatives who all tell you they have heard it is very painfull!!)

The next day I was out of bed taking my first steps with a walking frame, but I had to wear a supporting brace whenever I was vertical. No problem, but not very quick.

The day after I got my elbow crutches, and to my great delight was told I could go home if I passed a couple of tests, ie bending my knee 90deg and being able to walk up and down stairs. Thankfully I passed with ease and went home on the Saturday. So it was only 2 and a bit days from the op to walking out. I think this was unusual, but helped by me doing a lot of gym exercises on the bad knee before I went in, so my muscles were already strong.

I'm now at home on down to one crutch, the visiting nurse has been to remove the clips and dressing, the physio has been to check on progress, and both have discharged me from their care.

The only thing now is to visit the surgeon after week 6 to signed off finally.

The knee is still stiff, and complains if I walk too much, but I'm certain it's only a matter of time until the flexibility returns. It's difficult to realise it's only 18 days since my joint was attacked with hammers, chisels and saws, so I'll just have to be patient.

So if you are thinking of having an op at Barlborough, have NO fears or concerns, the staff are all friendly, attentive and very caring. This goes from when you first walk through the doors on your first visit to when you walk out fully mended.

Another key factor is the total lack of hospital-acquired infection, it seems unknown in this place. Absolutely spotlessly clean, thanks to the cleaners.

So if you need a new hip or knee, I'd certainly recommend Barlborough.

Be aware that it is OUR choice which hospital we use so use your choice well, I insisted on using Barlborough, because they are a specialist hospital with a superb feedback. So use your choice well, it's worth it!!

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Responses

Response from Angela Eyre

Thank you for sharing your story on patient opinion we value your views and will ensure that your comments are given to the relevant staff and unit involved.

thank you.

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