Patient story

Michael's knee replacement in Southampton

Read about Michael Earl’s successful knee replacement surgery in Southampton. Michael has always played a lot of sport, but following a serious injury at just 26 years old, his left knee was so painful he had to give up playing professionally. As the years went on wear and tear to both of his knees and arthritis set in. That’s when he decided a knee replacement operation was the only answer. Read on to hear about Michael’s double knee replacement journey.

Michael Earls after his knee replacement in Southampton

“My first knee replacement went so well, I came back for the other. I trusted Mr Waller, the team at Practice Plus Group Hospital, Southampton and the process and it was fantastic from start to finish.

Michael Earl

I always played a lot of sport. I played football professionally when I was young, as well as rugby, squash, golf and running. I had surgery at 26 following a serious injury to my left knee. I had to give up playing professionally but managed to carry on playing football until I was 56, and doing lots of walking, gardening and playing golf. But over the years wear and tear, and arthritis took hold.

In 2019 I had a consultation with Mr Chris Waller, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Practice Plus Group Hospital, Southampton, and agreed I needed a left knee replacement.

From the outset, the communication was fantastic and I was extremely impressed with how well the department was run. I have been part of teams my whole life, from sports teams to a 40-year career in social work, and I could see that everyone was busy but not stressed, they knew their role, and worked well together as a team.  

The surgery went smoothly, I did all the exercises and physio I was told to and made a great recovery. Almost three years to the day, in July 2022, I went back for a right knee replacement. By then it was as bad, if not worse, than my left knee had been.

I trusted Mr Waller, the team and the process and it was fantastic from start to finish. With a three year interval in between, I found this remarkable.

I’m back to full activity levels now. Yesterday I walked for two and a half hours with no problem whatsoever and I do everything I want to in the garden.

I also volunteer on the patient forum at Practice Plus Group Southampton along with my wife, Irene, to give something back for the excellent care I received.

It’s the least I could do to thank the team who have put me back on my feet- twice!

What to expect having knee surgery in Southampton

At Southampton hospital – formerly Southampton NHS Treatment Centre – we create an exceptional experience for all patients. We are dedicated to delivering the highest standards of quality and safety.

Whether you visit us as a day patient or need a slightly longer period of treatment, you’ll be given the best care and the undivided attention of our experienced and professional team.

Any patient in need of our services is welcome, regardless of location. We’ll even see you if you have an existing health condition, as long as it’s safe for us to treat you.

Knee surgery in Southampton

Knee replacement surgery is a common operation that can help to relieve pain and restore mobility. During the procedure, the damaged cartilage is removed and replaced with metal implants.

At our Southampton hospital we offer:

The average wait for knee operations in Southampton

At the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, the average waiting time for orthopaedic surgery is 20 weeks. At Practice Plus Group, the average waiting time for private knee surgery in Southampton is just 4-6 weeks.

Preparing for knee replacement surgery in Southampton

One of the benefits of being treated at our hospital is the ‘one-stop-service’ of your outpatient appointment. Where possible, we will complete any pre-treatment tests there and then, to save you making multiple trips. Our anaesthetists and rehabilitation team will assess you at the same time.

Your outpatient appointment is also an opportunity for you to meet the consultant who will perform your treatment. Feel free to ask any questions you wish – you may even want to write these down ahead of your appointment. They will explain any special preparations you may need to make before your treatment.

Travel and arrival

There are a number of ways to travel to Practice Plus Group Hospital, Southampton. These include public transport. The hospital is located on Levels C and D of the main block of Royal South Hants Hospital.

Follow directions to Royal South Hants Hospital, close to Southampton city centre. The entrance is on Brintons Terrace, off Onslow Road. There is pay-as-you-go on-site parking at the hospital.

If you’re coming from Southampton Central Station, it is approximately a 25 minute walk to the Royal South Hants Hospital or a nine minute taxi ride.

We have three on-site car parks for patients and visitors.

Open hours

Our opening hours are 7am-6pm.


Our day ward is spacious and consists of 23 beds, meaning there’s plenty of room for a friend or family member to accompany you during your time with us.

We also offer free Wi-Fi and on-site food and drinks selections.


When you leave the hospital after you’ve had your treatment, you’ll be given full details of your follow-up care. We will inform your GP that you’ve been discharged from the hospital. If you’re a day-case patient, we’ll give you a call the day after your surgery to check how you’re getting on and that you’re recovering well.

With this in mind, it’s crucial to rest and factor in some TLC after your treatment.

What’s the cost to see an orthopaedic knee specialist in Southampton?

An initial consultation with one of our consultant knee surgeons in Southampton is £95.

The cost of our knee replacement surgery is £11,799 (plus £95 for the consultation). This is between £2,000-£5,000 cheaper than some of our closest competitors.

Find the best knee surgeons in Southampton

Our experienced knee specialists will support you from start to finish, making your visit as comfortable as possible. We strive to ensure the treatment you receive is second-to-none.

Christopher Waller orthopaedic consultant medical director Southampton


This article was completed with the help of Christopher Waller. Mr Waller graduated from the University of Bristol Medical School in 1995. He completed orthopaedic specialist training in the Wessex region. After a period as a locum consultant for Southampton General Hospital, he joined Practice Plus Group Hospital, Southampton in February 2011. He has been the orthopaedic lead at Southampton and now combines clinical duties with the role as the hospital’s medical director.
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