'A new lease of life': 100-year-old Leeds great-grandmother wins back her independence after becoming one of the oldest patients to receive knee replacement surgery

A 100-year-old great-grandmother from Leeds has been given a new lease of life following a knee operation.

Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 6:00 am

Margaret Marshall had been in a lot of pain with osteoarthritis and could hardly walk - a real blow for the sprightly and independent centenarian, whose party trick is to touch her toes.

Now, she is looking forward to getting back out in her beloved garden after ditching her sticks and walking unaided just a couple of months following partial knee replacement surgery.

A Yorkshire Knee Clinic consultant who carried out the operation said Mr Marshall is the oldest patient he has performed knee replacement surgery on.

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Margaret Marshall is enjoying a new lease of life after undergoing knee replacement surgery.

Mrs Marshall, whose home overlooks Roundhay Park, said: “It’s given me a new lease of life. I’m hoping the weather improves soon so I can tend to my rose bushes.

"I also like to go to the shop and nearby places like Canal Gardens and Tropical World.”

An ambulance driver in Leeds during World War Two, Mrs Marshall is well-known within the Roundhay community, where she has lived for more than 60 years.

As well as being part of the local Townswomen’s Guild, performing amateur dramatics and volunteering for meals on wheels, she also went to keep fit classes at Oakwood Parochial Hall into her 90s, only stopping when the leader of the session retired.

Margaet Marshall celebrating her 100th birthday at her home in Roundhay in May last year.

Mrs Marshall had the elective surgery at BMI The Duchy Hospital in Harrogate.

The operation was carried out by consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Professor Nick London, who also heads the Yorkshire Knee Clinic in Leeds.

He said: “In more than 20 years as a consultant, I haven't performed total or partial knee replacement surgery on anyone of Mrs Marshall's age.

"But as with all my patients, it was a balance between the risks and benefits of surgery.

Margaret Marshall with great-grandson Oscar

“Mrs Marshall is an extraordinary 100-year-old lady who lives a fit and active life and up until last year was able to do what she wanted.

"For her, the osteoarthritis was extreme enough that she was potentially going to lose the independence that is so important to her.”

Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear of the joints and becomes more common and severe for most people as they get older.

The pain can affect everything from sporting activities to walking short distances and, eventually, sitting or sleeping.

Margaret Marshall received the Covid-19 vaccination in January.

Partial knee replacements have significantly better outcomes and a quicker recovery compared to full knee replacements.

Even though Mrs Marshall had the operation before she received her first Covid jab in January, she had no worries about going into hospital.

She said: “The whole experience was first class. The Duchy was very well geared up for it all, with the necessary precautions in place.

"All the staff were very friendly and it was very well organised.

“I stayed in for two nights and have had follow-up calls and even some Zoom sessions. I’m very grateful to everybody for it going so well.”

Sue Atkinson, Director of Clinical Services at BMI The Duchy, said elective surgery had been taking place at The Duchy since the summer, following successful collaboration with the local NHS Trust.

She added: “We have been Covid-free here since the start of the pandemic, with a really robust system in place to ensure we are able to deliver the surgery that people need.

"Safety comes first but it’s also about making everything as seamless as possible for patients and to allay any concerns.

"We worked closely with Mrs Marshall’s family to deliver the best care we could.”

Mrs Marshall has three sons, six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Her husband Weir, who she married in the early 1940s, died in 2002 aged 91.

In May she celebrated her 100th birthday with a few close family and friends in her garden after a planned party for 80 people at Weetwood Hall Hotel was cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions.