My Second ACL Reconstruction & High Tibial Osteotomy

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One of our patients, Mark Abbott, explains how a severe knee injury at the age of 18 resulted in daily struggles with knee pain and mobility for the duration of his adult life. However, following a consultation with knee surgeon Mr Nev Davies last year, Mark was finally given hope that there may be a way for him to regain his quality of life.

“It was one fateful day in November 1993, when at the age of 18 my life took an unexpected turn. I was playing Rugby for my School’s first 15 team and a misjudged tackle caused my ACL to snap. Having seen my local GP the following morning, I was advised to rest for a week and let the swelling go down. After a week had gone by, I fell down a large flight of stairs at school as my leg completely gave way. Battered and bruised, my knee locked out at 90 degrees and would not move.

Two weeks later, having been operated on by a well-known orthopaedic surgeon in Swindon, I was told there was nothing further that could be done. My sport was my world, and this was a crushing blow for a fit 18-year-old, who had previously competed in athletics at national level. Since that day, I have had to learn how to manage my knee, work out what I can achieve and how best to reduce the pain and swelling.

In 1993, there was extraordinarily little available in terms of cryotherapy and I had to resort to either ice in a tea towel or a trusty old packet of peas. Ten years later in 2003, I underwent an ACL reconstruction with mosaicplasty. Again the trusty old bag of peas and iced tea towel came out to reduce the swelling and ease my pain.

By 2019, I had reached a point where my knee was beginning to adversely affect my quality of life. I was unable to run, play football with my son or walk any distance without pain and suffering. The swelling would last for days after any sort of activity. In late September I found an excellent consultant – Mr Nev Davies. Nev looked at my history and I could see by the way he was talking that he is accustomed to thinking outside of the box. He restored my faith in medicine and I was sure he would be able to improve my quality of life.

In November 2019, the first phase of my surgery began with Nev operating on my right knee to remove the screws holding my first ACL reconstruction together. A bone transplant was inserted to plug the hole that was left, and I underwent a period of rehabilitation. Prior to the Covid lockdown in March 2020, I met with Nev to discuss the next phase of my treatment plan.

MRI scans helped to show the failure of my first ACL reconstruction, resulting in my right leg going bandy. The inside section of my knee joint was wearing quickly, which was causing me all the pain and inflammation. Unless something was done, at the age of 44 I was heading for a knee replacement (sooner rather than later).

Nev’s recommendation was for me to undergo another ACL reconstruction with a high tibial osteotomy to realign my knee. During the summer on Nev’s advice, I underwent some remote physiotherapy sessions to ensure I was in as good place as possible prior to the operation. I spoke to Nev a few days before my operation to check that everything was still going ahead due to the ever changing Covid situation. During the call, Nev advised me to look at hiring a Physiolab cryotherapy machine. He advised it may assist me with reducing the swelling and inflammation of my knee following the operation. Immediately after our call ended, I ordered the unit and it arrived the following morning. The initial hire was for 4 weeks – I felt happy, confident and set to go.

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    I had a knee arthroscopy to removed and clean up damaged cartilage after 6 years of repeated injury and dislocation from playing sport. I had been putting off the idea of surgery, but it was a great decision to finally get it seen to. I couldn't be happier with the results so far, and in less time than expected. Running, squats and climbing stair caused pain, and a lot more cracking than a 22 year old's knee should have! Now 2 weeks after the op, and following the physio exercises given after the operations, I am driving and climbing/ descending stairs without a problem and on the road to a full recover and hoping to get back to regular exercise within the next few weeks.

    I came to see you approximately four years ago and talked through the pros and cons of having an ACL replacement following an ACL rupture in my right knee I suffered playing an ill- advised game of beach volley ball on holiday in Antigua. I went ahead with the operation which you successfully performed at the Dunedin Hospital in Reading, I got on with my rehab and I now just wanted to let you to know that I will be running the London Marathon in three weeks (and raising money for Whizz-Kidz a disability charity for young people.) This letter is just a belated thank you for enabling this to happen.

    Mr Davies is a fantastic surgeon he put in a half knee joint in my right knee I have no problem with it ever since the operation in August last year. I have no more pain in my knee at all. I would recommend him to anyone.

    Mr Nev Davies has a very pleasant manner and was easy to talk to. The service provided was efficient, quickly identified the problems I had and was able to recommend treatment close to where I live.


    • General Medical Council (GMC) Membership
    • Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS(Eng.))
    • British Medical Association (BMA)
    • British Orthopaedic Association (BOA)
    • British Society of Children's Orthopaedic Surgery (BSCOS)
    • British Association of Surgery of the Knee (BASK)
    • AO European Trauma Group
    • British Orthopaedic Sports Trauma and Arthroscopy Association (BOSTAA)