Pudsey woman who struggled to walk due to arthritis 'transformed' by surgery aims for hiking holiday

A Pudsey woman who 'struggled to walk' due to her arthritic knee has undergone an incredible transformation following surgery in Leeds - and is now aiming to go on a hiking holiday.

Monday, 20th September 2021, 4:45 pm

Fiona Mcdonald, 67, an office administrator, said her pain gradually worsened to the point she knew she had to do something about it.

Fiona said she used to enjoy walking on Ilkley Moor and coastal paths but "couldn’t do any of those things anymore".

After undergoing a total knee replacement under the care of Mr George Whitwell, consultant orthopaedic surgeon, at Spire Leeds Hospital in May 2021, Fiona is back at work and life is returning to normal.

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Fiona Mcdonald, 67, an office administrator, said her pain gradually worsened to the point she knew she had to do something about it.

She says the transformation has been amazing and is now looking forward to a hiking holiday.

Fiona said, “Life literally came to a stop.

"I was in agony as my left knee had deteriorated to the point it was causing bone to rub on bone.

"I was finding it difficult to sleep at night due to the pain and my knee had started to give way, so I was fearful of falling.

Fiona Mcdonald, 67, an office administrator, said her pain gradually worsened to the point she knew she had to do something about it.

“From the moment I arrived at Spire everyone on the team was fantastic.

"I felt comfortable straight away and everything went smoothly.

"I’m absolutely delighted with the results."

Total knee replacement surgery involves removing the arthritic damaged cartilage from the ends of the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone) and replacing them with a metal and plastic joint replacement.

The implants are fixed to the bone using biocompatible bone cement acting like a high strength grout. Knee replacements are expected to last at least 25 years and due to improvements in design and technology most last for the patient’s lifetime, allowing surgeons to perform the procedure in much younger patients.

Fiona added: "My knee is so much better than I ever expected. I have full mobility, don’t walk with a limp and am pain free."

Mr Whitwell said Fiona had "all the symptoms" of severe knee osteoarthritis.

He added: "Osteoarthritis causes the normal layer of cartilage covering the bones in the knee to become damaged and thin.

"When the disease reaches the severe stage there is no cartilage left and bare bone begins rubbing against bare bone.

"Her symptoms had made her function very poor and even walking short distances had become very difficult.”

Fiona is about to embark on a hiking holiday in the Scottish Highlands.

She added: “It’s wonderful to have my freedom again. That’s so important to me.

"I’m also looking forward to coastal walks as well as shopping and socialising with friends again."