For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Tuesday, 8 May 2012

To knee or not to knee?

Well I’m back from the knee op.
After the spinal anaesthetic, being wheeled into theatre and vaguely seeing a group  of gowned and masked figures, one with a yellow leg over his shoulder, which, after a bit of rational thought I deduced must be mine; I had no sensation whatever that the leg had anything to do with me
A screen was erected above my middle. From thereon the only memories were the brief sound of a saw, and a chinking hammer and chisel kind of noise, not from mild steel, but ringing stainless or titanium I guess.
Back on the ward the less said about insertion of a catheter to relieve my bladder the better.
A visit from the surgeon. I was sitting in a chair. He asked me to bend my bandaged leg back as far as I could which I did. It was not at ninety degrees. He said,
 “now hook your other heal round the ankle and pull back further”,
which I did with a fair amount of pain, so he said,
I managed another half centimetre, and he said,
 “further, you can’t do it any damage, I got it to a hundred and twenty degrees in theatre”.
Yesterday, the dressing was changed. I was interested to see a vertical row of about fifteen metal clips running up my knee looking like a mini via ferrata. I have an appointment with my gp’s nurse on 17th May for removal - I was told some people keep the clips as a memento. I think I might put them on Ebay?
I have been emphatically told I must carry out a series of exercises four times a day, taking them well into the pain barrier, and for the moment my life is revolving round that programme. I am walking with crutches, and generally experiencing a lot of pain.
Do I recommend this procedure to anybody else? I’m not sure yet.


John Proud said...

Had to comment as it was labelled 'Medical'
Was that all done as a day case?
Makes you wonder what orthopedic butchers do whilst you are anesthetized. 120degree treatment!
Anyhow glad it is behind you,so to speak, and fingers crossed for a rapid recovery. I'm a bit concerned that otherwise drinking tea and freewheeling trips on the bike will take over.
Just back from the walk along Hadrian's Wall - no knee problems that I'm letting onto.
Nice picture of Tony by the way.Had quite a few teas and toasted teacakes in his memory whilst striding along the wall.

Roger B said...

Had both knees done in 2010.
TGO Challenge completed 2011.
Off to start the Challenge again this week.
Keep exercising and you will be back on the hills in time for the midges!

Roger Boston

Roderick Robinson said...

Being anaesthetised pares down your writing style. Perhaps you should keep a cylinder by you for those inevitable moments of writer's block. Given you'll be inactive for a little while perhaps you could devote some of the time to tracking down the patron saint of anaesthetics. You must surely be grateful you were able to take a detached view of the catheterisation of your urethra - the ultimate anti-male procedure other than orchidectomy.

Sir Hugh said...

L da P - I’m not sure if you are critical of my brevity, because in the past you have challenged my verbosity. All I can say is that I am pleased to read that you actually identified a style in my post, which I did deliberately strive for.

Roger B. - Thanks for your encouraging comment. I think I had heard about you before from M and G or Phreerunner or Afoot in the Hills (not sure which one of the gang it was).
I hope you you have a memorable and enjoyable TGO. I have never done it, and will be reading various blogs with some envy. I did my Munros with the help of my caravan which I would park in a particular area, clean up the associated Munros, and then set up elsewhere next time. I had a vague policy of working from the north downwards. Don't be ashamed of being a Munro ticker - there is a lot of rubbish written about that - it is a great achievement , and certainly for me, promoted a very satisfying feeling.

John P. - I always welcome your comments and hope that you don’t feel restricted to medical matters. I went into hospital on Thursday, had the op on Friday, and came out on Monday. I wondered myself if he had bent my leg to 120 degrees just for fun.

I walked part of Hadrian’s Wall on the Pennine Way, and was quite unprepared for the short sharp shocks of steep ascent - I had a picture in my mind of a sort of level, horizontal landscape. What was the whole thing like?

welshpaddler said...


I have just seen your blog and words "knee" and "bike" jumped out at me.

I had a scan back in October which the Dr said looked OK despite signs of a tear. Before the scan and up until Easter I had no problems at all, including a weeks walking holiday. Then the Thursday before Easter whilst on a walk (lengthy but not serious) the knee suddenly and without warning made me stop with pain. I barely made it back to the car.

My Dr now believed an appointment was necessary for a potential athroscopy. My local NHS told me that just the consultation could take between 6 and 7 months!!

Long story short I now have a private appointment on 8th June. No idea where this will lead.

What I do have in common with you though is that 2 weeks ago I hired a bike and rode for 9.5 miles, mainly off road, but not serious stuff. I had no pain at all. Yet walking any distance is now impossible. I have borrowed a bike and if this works out I will spend some cash. I like the look of your purchase and I have been looking at hybrid bikes and with the possibility of panniers. What kind of off road surfaces have you successfully rode along?

It is difficult reading walking blogs and magazines knowing I am stuffed at present.

Thanks in advance


Sir Hugh said...

Welshpaddler - Thanks for your comment, and you have my sympathy.

I have had arthroscopies twice on the left knee and once on the right, and I had replacement knee surgery on the left on 4th May.

The arthroscopies were marginally effective and allowed me to continue serious walking for a couple of years, until last summer when I backpacked over a thousand miles round your Welsh boundary. At the end of that trip the left knee was complaining and after a couple of painful walks in the Lakes afterwards I have not walked seriously since. One of those walks ended exactly as you described with me having great difficulty in completing the last mile.

Over the last three months, awaiting the operation I found I could ride my bike without pain. If walking is still a problem I had planned to possibly cycle camp instead.

I sold the mountain bike and bought a hybrid, and I bought two Ortlieb Classic Rear Panniers (it seems Ortlieb are the Rolls Royce of panniers). I reckon I can get all the stuff into those two that I carried backpacking and putting my tent on the top flat part of the pannier rack. I have done several rides up to about thirty miles.

Most of my cycling has been done on Tarmac, albeit on minor roads, and the hybrid is great, but off road on slightly rough tracks with loose stones there is a big contrast between the hybrid and the mountain bike, but with care, and sensible choice of moderate off road surfaces I reckon the advantages of the hybrid on Tarmac are well worth it.

If you want more information, or wish to continue this exchange please feel free to email me at