I began experiencing left hip pain in the autumn of 2021. This got progressively worse and by May 2022, walking and night pains had become severe both in my hip and immediately under my knee.
My wife Amanda and I love to walk – we moved to our house in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, because it was so close to the Mendip Hills, and we walked an average of five miles a day. So keen are we that we volunteered with ‘Shepton Walks’, a local organisation that promotes Shepton as a great place for country walks.
But the hip pain meant serious walking was out of the question and it began to affect my physical and mental health. It’s common for people to find work-arounds for these issues, and often it’s only retrospectively one realises how much the pain curtails your activities. I talked to family and friends and, as a result, I decided to do something about it in June 2022.
“It’s only retrospectively one realises how much [hip] pain curtails your activities.”Ian Keys, Practice Plus Group hip patient
My GP advised that I needed a total hip replacement, with an X-ray confirming the diagnosis.
The waiting list on the NHS was about 12 months. I knew that waiting 12 months would weigh heavily on my mind and my way of life and that my physical and mental health would suffer as a result. This realisation gave me the impetus to seek a private initial consultation. I chose Practice Plus Group in Shepton because they had an ‘Outstanding’ CQC rating.
I didn’t want a year of enforced idleness and anguish, so my wife and I decided to have the operation at Practice Plus Group Shepton Mallet carried out privately; it had very short waiting lists and our son had been well looked after there a few years earlier when he had surgery following a sports injury. They were also cheaper than other options – even than an NHS hospital in the region offering to treat privately.
“I chose Practice Plus Group in Shepton because they had an ‘Outstanding’ CQC rating.”Ian Keys, Practice Plus Group hip patient
The operation took place on 2 November and only took 55 minutes. I was conscious throughout. Around four hours after the operation, the physio team visited and had me out of bed, walking on the spot with a zimmer frame. I was amazed at both the lack of hip and knee pain and the fact that I could walk so soon after the surgery.
I’m making a fantastic recovery and am back walking almost five miles a day, including steep hills, and doing the exercises advised by the physiotherapist.
From my very first visit, the care and consideration I received from the staff at the hospital was wonderful. Everyone I met in every role was wholly engaged as they performed it – receptionists, cleaners, x-ray technicians, nurses, doctors and other health professionals. My experience was extremely well managed.