Mary Wolff-Ingham

 Knee replacement

Dear Mr McDermott,

I was cycling past London Bridge Hospital on Monday and thought of you! I can’t believe how different I feel six months on since you replaced my knee. I wanted to write and thank you properly for doing such a wonderful job; for being such a skilled surgeon but also for the outstanding care and support you’ve given me throughout the whole process.

I don’t think I told you that I’d been to see two other Orthopaedic Surgeons before I came to see you. I didn’t feel comfortable or have confidence in either of them. You were definitely worth the wait! As soon as I met you, I knew I could trust you with my knee. You were so ‘cutting edge’ and clearly top in your field. I liked your calm & confident manner; your directness, honesty and your sense of humour. I really valued the fact that you took the time to explain knee surgery in simple terms; explained clearly the benefits of going with a Conformis knee versus a standard knee and didn’t pretend that it would be ‘a breeze’ in terms of the recovery. You never rushed or pressurised me into having surgery. In fact, I seem to
remember that you initially tried to get me to postpone having it done until I was a bit older! Instead you provided me with all the information; guidance and reassurance I needed to make that decision myself. I liked that, as it made me feel more in control.

I also liked all of your supporting team at Old Broad Street/London Bridge Hospital. They are all clearly ‘hand- picked’ and all mirrored you in terms of their professional, supportive & caring approach.

  • I had the most amazingly thorough Pre-Admission Appointment with your Clinical Nurse Specialist (Irmi) prior to surgery. I can’t tell you how valuable that was. Being given a detailed ‘blow by blow’ account of what to expect before; during and after surgery was so reassuring and meant I went into surgery/and came out of surgery with no surprises. I also liked the fact that she popped in to see me every day whilst I was in hospital post surgery.
  • I had the gentlest and friendliest of nurses to do my blood tests and post-op dressings at Old Broad St.
  • I had the most calm and reassuring anaesthetist (Dr Jonathan Watkiss) to ‘knock me out’.

I was amazed and seriously impressed with how conscientious you were about monitoring my progress immediately post surgery during my four days in hospital. I was so surprised to receive a phone call from you on the day that you couldn’t make it in to the hospital to see me. You were on a Bone Cutting Course in Basingstoke, but still took the time to phone in to see how I was and apologised that you couldn’t see me in person. The following day, you even drove across London in Friday night traffic (after the course) to ensure that I could be discharged the next day. That meant so much to me, as the next day was my 52nd birthday and I really didn’t want to spend it in hospital. Even after I left hospital, I still felt totally supported, having been given your reassurance that I could contact you (or London Bridge
Hospital staff) at any time.

As you well know (thanks to your advice and encouragement) I threw myself in to post op recovery with all the energy and determination I could muster. It really paid off. The Game Ready kit really helped with reducing the post surgery inflammation (I wish I’d had it whilst I was recovering in the hospital); my static bike trainer helped me gain such a good post op knee bend (and gave hope that I’d be would be back on my bike again soon), but the regular physiotherapy sessions you recommended made the biggest difference of all. I know that without them I wouldn’t have made such a quick recovery or achieved the excellent range of movement in my knee that I have today.

As you know, I used various physiotherapists (all brilliant) at different stages of my recovery for a period of 5 months. All of them were singing your praises, even though they’d never met you. My physiotherapist (3 weeks post surgery) was completely wowed by my progress in terms of my recovery. She said that you must be a ‘seriously talented surgeon’ and that the patient specific Conformis knee seemed far superior to a standard knee. She said never in her career had she seen a knee job as neat as mine or such a high degree of movement achieved in such a short time – i.e. knee bend of 120 degree + at such an early stage in my recovery. My other physiotherapist (8 + weeks post surgery) said that she’d never seen a leg that had been so beautifully straightened following surgery (to correct my bandy leg) & told me how lucky I was to have a surgeon as caring and meticulous as you.

I do feel lucky and so very grateful to have had you as my surgeon. Six months on and I’m feeling great. I’m fitter; more active and feel the best I’ve felt in years. I have a beautifully straightened leg and a super, new, fully functioning knee. I couldn’t be happier. I would have no hesitation about recommending you and your practice to other patients considering Total Knee Replacement surgery. My experience has all been positive. Thank you again for treating and looking after me with such skill, care and compassion and for your encouragement throughout my recovery. Thank you for being so conscientious and always going that ‘extra mile’. Thank you for advising me not to have both knees done at the same time – it wouldn’t have been nice.

So, until the next knee…. warmest regards and sincere thanks,

Mary Wolff-Ingham

7 May 2015

Mary WolffIngham