Q&A With Knee Surgeon Mr Simon Mellor
Laura Harman, Senior BOOST PHYSIO, interviews Mr Simon Mellor and asks him about key aspects of knee trouble.
Mr Simon Mellor has been a consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Barnet and Chase Farm NHS trust for eight years. After growing up in North London, he qualified from medical school in Manchester and trained in London and Surrey. His higher training in hip and knee surgery included a fellowship in Melbourne Australia for a year, and his specialist interests include knee ligament reconstructions, patient-specific ‘bespoke’ knee replacements and enhanced recovery after hip and knee replacement surgery. He founded ‘The North London Knee Clinic’ and continues to be involved in orthopaedic research. Further details can be found at www.northlondonkneeclinic.co.uk
Q1. BOOST PHYSIO: Osteoarthritis is a common condition of the knee. Many patients when diagnosed panic that they will need to have a knee replacement. Is this always the case? What other options are available?
Mr Simon Mellor: Osteoarthritis of the knee is a progressive condition, and while some patients will end up having a knee replacement, that isn’t always necessary. Even if surgery does become necessary, a number of patients can regain function and quality of life with a partial, or ‘mini’ knee replacement rather than a full knee replacement. Alternatives include physiotherapy, painkillers, braces and injections into the knee (either steroid or ‘visco-supplement’ injections that lubricate the joint).
Q2. BOOST PHYSIO: It is known that being over weight can exacerbate the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. What effect does losing weight have on the knee?
Mr Simon Mellor: Weight-loss can certainly help the symptoms of knee arthritis by reducing the load being put through the knee joint. Similarly, using a stick or a crutch will reduce the stress on the knee, if used correctly.
Q3. BOOST PHYSIO: Many patients with osteoarthritis of the knee are told that they need to exercise. Are some types of exercise better than others?
Mr Simon Mellor: Exercise is useful for weight loss as well as general health, and can keep the arthritic knee from becoming stiff. It’s usually kinder on the knee to avoid ‘impact’ exercise, and I usually recommend swimming and cycling. Even ‘walking’ across a swimming pool works the right muscles while avoiding the wrong strains being put on the knees.
Q4. BOOST PHYSIO: Are corticosteroid injections useful for osteoarthritis of the knee?
Mr Simon Mellor: Steroid injections are sometimes beneficial in early knee arthritis, and I use them particularly when my patients have an inflammatory flare-up in their knee. By reducing the swelling and giving temporary pain-relief, it can help to kick-start a rehabilitation process. However, as with all ‘interventional’ treatments, there are minor risks, and they are not suitable for all patients.
BOOST PHYSIO has 2 High Street clinics in North London and NW London. Hendon NW4 and East Finchley N2. BOOST PHYSIO specialise in treating all aspects of knee pain with the best and most upto date treatments available.
View our facebook page at www.facebook.com/boostphysio
and follow us on Twitter @boostphysio