We all know that keeping active is one of the key ingredients to living a healthy life, but for some of us, a bad knee could be enough to prevent us from being as active as we would like. When knee pain interferes with activity, it is a sign that we should seek medical help. A visit to an orthopaedic surgeon can help you get a diagnosis and treatment. The surgeon will determine if the pain has been caused through injury or a more long-term issue, such as osteoarthritis.

Knee Arthritis in Bristol

Did you know:
• There are 5000 people in Bristol with severe knee arthritis.
• Of the UK’s ten “Core Cities”, the population of Bristol is the most physically active.
• Up to 25% of people with knee arthritis will retire early due to knee pain.
• Most knee arthritis is under-treated.

When people talk about knee arthritis, it is usually osteoarthritis to which they are referring. Arthritis means ‘joint inflammation’, and osteoarthritis is the most common form. Osteoarthritis is characterised by inflammation and ‘wear and tear’ damage to the knee. It develops over time, and can sneak up on you. The process of damage and wearing out of the joint cartilage surface eventually results in bone grinding on bone in the knee, which is a painful and disabling condition. There are several risk factors for osteoarthritis, including your genes, lifestyle factors, previous injuries, hypermobility and obesity.

The symptoms of knee arthritis include pain and stiffness, and may lead to a loss of mobility. Symptoms range from mild to severe. There can be a mild background ache in the knee, which might interfere with sporting activities or a long walk. In more severe cases, it can be a constant severe, disabling pain, which makes walking very difficult or impossible. Pain may also be so severe that sleep can be disturbed and there is pain at rest. The normal activities of daily living may become difficult to perform. Roughening and fragmentation of the knee joint surface may also lead to catching, clicking, clunking or similar symptoms. Swelling of the knee joint is often seen, and in severe cases, the shape of the knee may change. In the worst cases, loss of mobility can lead to poor cardio-respiratory fitness.

Nuffield Health: The complete pathway for arthritis treatment in Bristol

Nuffield Health offers a complete team for arthritis treatment. Every step of the patient’s journey has been considered, with surgeons, physiotherapists, personal trainers and nutritionists working together to bring you the most complete treatment pathway in the city. The Joint Pain Programme, available at Nuffield Health Fitness & Wellbeing Clubs, helps to maintain muscle strength and reduce the need for surgery. In more severe cases, the Nuffield Health hospital provides cutting edge technology with advanced injections and robotic-arm assisted surgery. After patients complete their basic post-operative rehabilitation, they also have access to Nuffield Health’s Recovery Plus enhanced recovery programme, at no extra cost.

Some of the treatments we offer for arthritis:
• Physiotherapy
• Steroid injections
• Advanced biologic injections
• Weight loss therapies
• Robotic-arm assisted knee replacement

Advanced biologic injections

For those patients who might be suffering with arthritis but are hoping to avoid surgery, there are less invasive, non-surgical options available, such as injection therapy. This can prove beneficial in managing joint pain to the point whereby the need for surgery is delayed or mitigated completely. A new technique available are biologic injections, which uses a patient’s own anti-inflammatory cells to reduce pain and swelling in arthritic joints.

Robotic-arm assisted knee replacement

Knee replacement surgery has evolved, with innovative, state-of-the-art robotic-arm technology now available to assist the surgeon with the procedure. This brings a range of enhanced benefits for the patients, including even greater surgical precision, which in turn leads to decreased post-operative pain and faster recovery. Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital is the only hospital in the city to offer robotic-arm assisted knee replacement surgery, highlighting Nuffield Health’s commitment to providing our patients with the best possible treatment. The decision to proceed is made with your surgeon, so that you fully understand the benefits and risks of each procedure.

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr Damian Clark says: “Although we call it ‘the robot’, it is actually an improvement of the whole process. It begins with a pre-operative CT scan to very accurately plan the surgery. The robotic-arm is able to guide the surgeon to complete the joint replacement with milimetre precision. More precise surgery means less disturbance to the patient’s tissues, and it enables a faster recovery.”

The team

At Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital, our team of Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons hold regular clinics with very short waiting times. Consultants specialising in knee surgery include Mr Jonathan Webb, Mr Damian Clark, Mr Richard Baker, Mr Sanchit Mehendale, Mr Hywel Davies and Mr James Robinson. Call our Enquiries team on the number below, who will be able to assist you in booking a consultation.

It doesn’t matter if you want to climb a mountain or simply tidy the garden, any symptom that prevents or limits your ability to do the things you love is cause for concern. With a little help, a bad knee doesn’t have to impact your quality of life.

For more information, call 0117 911 5339 or visit nuffieldhealth.com/hospitals/bristol

Main image: Consultant Orthopaedic Knee Surgeon Mr Damian Clark and members of the theatre team, with Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital’s robotic-arm, used in knee replacement surgery.