08/05/2023 | Press releases

‘Robotic assisted knee operation has given me my life back’

Struggling to walk and having to plan how he travelled to work has made life very difficult for Matt Farrell.

With arthritis in his right knee, the pain had become so crippling he was finding day-to-day activities, like walking his two dogs Alfie and Banjo, were difficult.

But robotic-assisted knee surgery at Colchester Hospital to replace his knee joint has transformed Matt’s life.

The 55-year-old who lives in Colchester said: “I didn’t realise how bad it had got. I initially went to my GP 20 years ago with a stabbing pain in my knee. It got worse and worse. After being referred initially for a partial knee replacement, I then needed a full replacement by the time I had surgery in November last year.”

Matt, who works as a health and safety inspector for His Majesty’s Inspector of Railways, said it’s an issue running in his family with his mum having had both her hips replaced, as well as his sister and brother needing knee replacements too.

Man sitting on garden bench in green jumper with shorts. Right leg has scar
Matt Farrell and the scar on his right knee since his operation in November

Matt was able to have his operation using robotic-assisted surgery and said it’s transformed how he can move.

He added: “The recovery has been brilliant – I actually favour my right knee now. I was living on so much medication to cope – I’m now on very little and being able to walk around pain free is fantastic.

“Just being able to walk up and down stairs is great. Before I’d have these moments where my knee would lock and I’d be stuck.”

X ray with two knee joints
Matt’s x-ray showing his knee before surgery on the right and with the knee replacement on the left

Matt has also been using an app offered to knee replacement surgery patients at ESNEFT. Extra videos from consultants, additional information about surgery and support after the operation are some of the features included in the app, which Matt said he found really helpful.

Patients can also input their own information, such as their pain and function scores. They can also link the app to their smartphone or watch to link in their daily step count. This will help feedback to the clinicians, allowing them real-time information.

Consultant Tim Parratt said the Huma app is a really positive step in helping support patients through the procedure of knee replacement surgery but is also a great way of finding out how recovery is going.

Man in theatre scrubs by screen
Consultant Tim Parratt

He said: “This is a really exciting step in personalised information bespoke to our patients at ESNEFT. The information through the app has been tailored specifically for us.

“Patients don’t get to interact with their consultant as much as they’d like, but this will be a helpful way to find out more about the surgery beforehand, navigate the admission and then be fully involved in their rehab during the months of recovery.

“Knee replacement surgery can be tough to get through. We hope having helpful reminders about the best exercises to do after the operation and being able to complete questionnaires about pain levels will also help patients on their journey.”

Around 800 patients have partial or full knee replacements every year at Colchester and Ipswich Hospital. Those patients who have the surgery robotic-assisted surgery will be offered access to the app as part of a trial.

Robotic-assisted knee replacement surgery and app assisted follow-up is being performed as part of a trial at Colchester Hospital ESNEFT, and will be available to all our patients from Essex and Suffolk from next year when we open a new elective orthopaedic centre.

Back to top
Translate »