In March 2016, David Walton, a ski instructor was enjoying skiing in Avoriaz, France when he tripped at slow speed in some heavy snow and fell down a slope. Read about his story, surgery and recovery at BMI The Hampshire Clinic.
My downhill ski caught up in the snow which meant my body passed over my knee and down the slope. A few pops sounded, which I hoped was my binding releasing, but it was my knee instead!
I headed straight for the medical centre where I was x-rayed and had an MRI scan. Unfortunately, the results revealed a ruptured ACL, torn MCL and LCL, detached meniscus and bruising to the tibia plateau. The doctor advised that I needed surgery promptly.
Deciding on surgery
I was recommended Professor Adrian Wilson at BMI The Hampshire Knee Clinic - a name that came up after Google searches about synthetic grafts and artificial ligament repairs.
I went ahead and booked an appointment with Professor Adrian Wilson at the Hampshire Knee Clinic on 5 April and as I was still within 6 weeks post injury at this stage, I was hoping he would take me on. During the initial consultation, we discussed my career, what I needed my body for and future aspirations. Professor Wilson was gauging my suitability, I liked where it was going and after a detailed conversation about the potential operation, I was happy and keen to get in theatre as soon as possible. The next available slot was the 29 April, which couldn’t come round quick enough.
A preparatory consultation with Professor Adrian Wilson a few days before the operation cemented my thoughts this was 100% for me, and we went into what to expect in the lead up to theatre, the operation itself and the immediate post-theatre treatment.
I had my successful operation on 29 April and three hours in theatre meant it was now over to rehabilitation! On 7 May, I began my physiotherapy sessions. It was all about reducing the swelling and maintaining extension in the joint.
After a few weeks, I had a follow up consultation with Professor Wilson, which was positive, everything went to plan and I had a good look at the incredible work he had done inside my knee through the video he captured during the operation. It was incomprehensible the work that was be done through seven 3mm holes in my knee. Road to recovery involved physiotherapy once a week, a lot of mobilisation and movement exercises 3 times a day at home and a month on the Game Ready device.
By the 1 June, I stopped using the crutches and become weight bearing properly and learning to walk again!
Later on in June, I had another consultation with Professor Wilson. He was keen to check on my progress, was satisfied and encouraged me towards my goals. Before long, the knee was feeling strong and stable, so I began road cycling to aid in mobilisation and the physiotherapy sessions turned into gym sessions.
By the end of August, I was able to do deep squats properly, one of my many sub goals set throughout a long summer of rehab. Before long, I was on skis in Zermatt on 21 November and the hard work had paid off.
I was skiing on at what felt like a fully stable and strong knee. Between then and now my rehab has continued to a point where I feel my legs are back on even kilter again. I was ski racing in January 2017 and regularly go ski touring so, it’s safe to say that the knee has surpassed every test so far.
Our consultant Professor Adrian Wilson comments:
David has three ski schools in the French Alps. Skiing is his life and he is extremely passionate about skiing from a personal perspective and also in teaching other individuals.
It was a difficult reconstruction that went extremely well and it's a testament to David that he was able to get back to skiing so quickly at this complex knee construction.
He did get back to sport perhaps a little bit earlier than I would've liked, but I'm delighted things have worked out so well and he continues to go from strength to strength with his knee.
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