Real Patients - Quotes & The Questions They Should Ask


Delightful, busy, young mum, Tara, who has had two hip replacements and one knee replacement

Keen West Ham fan scoring a penalty with two hip replacements and one knee replacement


Hip replacement patient giving alternative therapy to a tiger (not recommended for all hip patients!)

Young bilateral hip replacement patient walking in rural Ireland

“Dear Mr Charnley

You prepared a hip replacement a couple of months before my wedding. I was a little apprehensive on how it was going to go but on my wedding day, everyone said there was no indication I had ever had a problem with my hip.

I wore three-inch heels for ten hours on the day, beating out my bridesmaid, who doesn’t have any hip problems. I was able to walk down the aisle, climb in and out of a carriage for the horse and carriage ride and have the first dance with my husband. Our honeymoon, in Northumberland, we walked four miles each day and even climbed rocks at Hadrian’s Wall

These are all things I would have really struggled with before the surgery but now I do it without a second thought.”

“Mr Charnley,

Just to say thank you very much for my replacement knee. I have no pain and no limp, just like Federer. Thank you again. “

“Just a little note to thank you. I am not able to walk, sit, bend and shop in Maldon High Street and enjoy many things that I haven’t been able to do for such a long time. So wonderful to be pain free.”

“Dear Mr Charnley

I wanted to thank you for my new hip and it has already made a difference to my life. For the first time in years, I am now pain free and have moved to crutches and am walking straighter.”

“Dear Mr ‘C’

My knee is truly wonderful. Thank you for everything.”

“Dear Godfrey

Having reached the age of 94 last week, I think often about you and all the wonderful surgery you did for me (revision hip replacement for periprosthetic fracture)”

“Hi Godfrey,

I trust you are fit and as well as when we last met. I am still doing great on the old metal hips. I did the London to Southend bike ride in July and managed to cycle 82 miles that day. I have also been windsurfing”

Questions for Your Joint Replacement Surgeon

Patients should not feel worried about asking their surgeons for as much information as possible before undergoing a hip or knee replacement.

Many surgeons will be only too glad to try and explain the following issues but often clinics are over-booked and thinking about these issues in advance will help everyone.

  1. Ask your surgeon if they are specially trained in hip and knee replacement surgery, rather than being a generalist or someone who does a few joint replacements but is otherwise an expert spine or shoulder surgeon for example.
  2. Ask them what implants they use and why.
  3. Check that that the surgeon is not constrained in the type of implant he or she proposes to you by contracts or funding issues.  Every patient should have the most applicable implant that works well in their surgeon’s hands.
  4. Discuss with your Surgeon the type of anaesthetic his colleagues might suggest and whether there is a specialist who routinely supports joint replacement surgery.
  5. Ask about how long the hospital stay is and what the goals and timescale are for rehabilitation after the hip or knee replacement operation.
  6. Ask if there are unforeseen complications who will deal with these and where the further treatment will be undertaken. (This is particularly relevant to patients who are sent outside their community for joint replacement surgery, such as in treatment centres or who are operated upon by foreign visiting surgical teams).
  7. Ask your surgeon how long the usual recovery pathway is before you can return to your occupation, hobbies and activities of daily living, including sexual intercourse.
  8. Ask your surgeon and also your family doctor if there are general health issues that you can embark upon prior to joint replacement surgery such as weight loss, controlling blood pressure or diabetic problems.
  9. Discuss with the surgeon and his team whether you need to make any simple changes to your home environment to minimise post-operative complications, especially dislocation.

Finally please don‘t be embarrassed to ask these types of questions. Surgery is not 100% guaranteed but if the risks and benefits are outlined at an early stage some problems and communication problems in particular can be minimised.

What Questions Patients Should Ask Before Joint Replacement Surgery

Why things go wrong!

press article

This page was last updated September 2019