The Birmingham Knee Replacement (BKR) is a new knee replacement, enabling patients to be highly active following surgery. Colin from Derby had a right BKR at the BMI Edgbaston Hospital with Mr. McMinn in April 2010. During surgery, Mr. McMinn was able to address Colin’s badly bowed leg and straighten it. Less than 12 months later, he’s back to his favorite hobbies.
Colin’s an Energy Consultant who enjoys snow skiing and water skiing. Ever the thrill-seeker, his knee problems began 30 years ago during a rock climbing accident. He recalls, “I would’ve probably done better to break my leg, but unfortunately what I did was damage the cartilage. I then had two knee operations to clean the joint up. And since that I had to use knee braces to enable me to keep doing sport.”
He was able to stay active, but the knee brace would only be a temporary x. Sure enough, 12 months before surgery he began to struggle. “I started to have difficulty walking any distance without great pain. And my leg had got to the stage where it was very bowed. I made the decision to have a knee replacement so I could carry on doing sport. “I had been to another consultant who said yes, I could have a knee replacement. But afterwards I would have to stop all the sport I do. When I came to see Mr.. McMinn, my first question was ‘should it be possible to both water ski and snow ski after the operation?’ And the answer was yes!”
Colin was offered a “regular” knee replacement by the first consultant he went to see. The main problem with these sorts of knee replacement is that they don’t function as a “natural” knee does.
There are a number of knee replacements on the market, which all follow a conventional, if slightly outdated, design. The shape of these knee replacements restrict the movement of the knee cap during flexion. As a result, patients experience pain and tightness at the front of the knee, limited leg bending and struggle with day to day activities. As Colin found out, these patients usually have to give up their hobbies and settle for less active lifestyles too.
Mr. McMinn is committed to getting his knee patients active again. He designed the BKR to match the shape and kinematics of the natural knee. Unlike regular knee replacements, the BKR allows the knee cap to move in its intended motion during flexion, providing comfort and confidence for patients. The Birmingham Knee Replacement provides excellent stability, superb knee function and significantly lower wear compared to traditional knee replacements. And after surgery, patients find that they can get back to their favorite hobbies, including golf, swimming and tennis.
An Added Bonus Mr. McMinn was also able to straighten Colin’s bowed leg during surgery. Colin explains the extent of the damage, “Before the operation my right knee was bent in such a way that I could actually fit three fingers between my two knees. I can now put my legs together and my knees will touch. My leg has been straightened, which so they tell me, makes me look 10 years younger.”
Rehabilitation and Recovery For Colin, rehabilitation after surgery was challenging. But this is true with any type of knee replacement. “Immediately after the operation to get the most out of your knee, you need to go to a physio,” he advises. “Find out how to build the strength up and then start working at it. “I don’t know whether I’m a slight eccentric, but I used to set the alarm every hour and every hour I would do the exercises. From there, I got a static trainer to t on my bike to build the strength up and increase the bend.”
The challenge of recovery was worth it though and Colin soon got back to his normal life. “I would probably say inside 2 weeks I’d managed to get rid of the crutches and I could walk reasonably well,” he says. “12 months on, I’ve virtually got the full bending of the knee the same as the other one. Whereas before the operation, 90 degrees [of flexion] was probably all I could get.”
The BKR has transformed Colin’s quality of life. Had he gone for surgery with the first consultant he’d seen, things might be very different. He says, “I can walk normally and go up and down stairs without any difficulty.” Most importantly, he’s back to doing the sports he loves and there’s no looking back. “I’m very well pleased. Inside five months I was water skiing again. Inside nine months I actually went snow skiing again!” Colin’s so satisfied, he’s even recommended BKR surgery to other active friends, “I have a friend at the moment who I’ve skied with for many years, who is very close to a knee operation. And I’m sure when he does, the person he’ll be turning to is Mr. McMinn.”
Mr. McMinn is the pioneer behind the Birmingham Knee Replacement and one of only two consultants worldwide who can offer the treatment to his patients. To read more about the BKR and to see Colin in action water skiing, please see our website: http://www.mcminncentre.co.uk/birmingham-knee-replacement.html