Suffering from knee pain? Here’s how you can get back to your active lifestyle
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Knee pain affects most people at some point in their life and can restrict your routine if left untreated, which is why it’s important to seek medical advice as soon as possible.
Clifton Park is a specialist orthopaedic centre in York, offering a wide range of treatments for orthopaedic conditions, including knee reconstruction, arthroscopic (key hole) surgery, and revision knee replacement through the NHS and for private patients.
We speak to orthopaedic consultants, Neil Hunt and Tony Gibbon, about the common causes of knee problems and how you can get back to an active, healthy lifestyle.
Q: What are the main causes of knee pain?
Most orthopaedic conditions are caused by age-related wear and tear in the cartilage and ligaments. “Unfortunately, bone and joint problems are incredibly common and most people throughout the course of their life will develop some problems due to the aging process,” says Neil.
"Orthopaedic problems can also be caused by life events and sporting injuries, as well as arthritis and conditions such as patella (knee cap) instability,” adds Tony.
Q: What treatments are available?
A full range of knee surgery services are offered at Clifton Park Hospital, including physiotherapy, joint injection treatment, arthroscopic surgery, ligament reconstruction, realignment surgery, stabilisation surgery, knee replacements and revision knee replacements. A full diagnostic suite including MRI, Ultrasound and X-ray is also available to complement the surgical treatment.
“The nature of this work is to relieve disabling pain and to restore normal function,” says Tony. “As a consequence, grateful patients frequently thank us for ‘giving them their life back,’ which I consider to be very humbling and a privilege to do.”
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Q: How long is the recovery period from knee surgery?
Most surgery (including some knee replacements) is done as a day case. Recovery periods have greatly improved in comparison to what they were, and Clifton Park has a great record of accelerated recovery. “Most patients who have a joint replacement are only in hospital for one to two nights, and most ligamentous reconstruction surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure,” says Neil.
“Depending on the nature of the operation, recovery varies, but our goal is to restore full function as soon as possible and we adopt enhanced recovery strategies to facilitate this,” adds Tony.
Q: How can I prevent knee and joint problems?
Surgery is usually undertaken when non-operative measures have been exhausted and are no longer effective. For optimum bone and joint health, Neil and Tony recommend a holistic approach of a healthy diet, regular exercise programme (taking into account the aging condition) and avoiding injuries.
“Maintaining joint mobility and muscle strength through regular exercise helps keep bones and joints healthy and minimises symptoms of wear and tear and osteoarthritis, while regular muscle conditioning and strengthening reduces the risk of sporting injury,” says Tony.
Q: What are the benefits of private healthcare compared to the NHS?
The main benefit of private healthcare, Neil explains, is that it allows patients to access the surgeon they want, in the location they want, at the time they want. “The NHS is great at looking after people, particularly in emergency situations, but waiting times have historically been quite long and are getting longer, largely because of the covid-19 pandemic,” he says.
Patients often choose private treatment to select the specialist of their choice and determine the timing of the consultation and treatment. “This typically means their symptoms are dealt with more promptly and efficiently than via other means,” says Tony. “While the same treatments are usually available through the NHS, current demand means that patients are restricted from accessing them and have to wait a long time.”
Q: Why should I choose Clifton Park Hospital for orthopaedic treatment?
Clifton Park Hospital has been a specialist orthopaedic centre for more than 15 years, and during that time it has treated more orthopaedic patients than any other centre in York. “It has an excellent track record as evidenced by low complication rates, excellent outcomes and amazing patient feedback,” says Neil.
“The hospital is also looking to be classified as an orthopaedic centre of excellence, and with its background in these fields and research it expects to achieve this. We’re always striving to optimise patient care to get the best outcomes in an environment which is as pleasant as it can be for the patient.”
To find out more about Clifton Park, visit ramsayhealth.co.uk/hospitals/clifton-park-hospital or call 01904 211 645.
Clifton Park Hospital, Shipton Rd, Rawcliffe, York, YO30 5RA.