A Fife man has been given an early Christmas present of new found mobility as the recipient of the shortest knee transplant to be performed in Scotland.
Craig Buchanan, from Lochgelly, became the first to undergo the procedure last month with the 60 year-old admitted and discharged within 12 hours, following a successful surgery.
The average length of hospital stay for a knee replacement in NHS Fife is around three days with only around 15% of those requiring knee replacement suitable for same day surgery.
The knee replacement is the latest orthopaedic innovation to be pioneered in NHS Fife which in 2018 also became the first in Scotland to carry out successful day-case hip replacement.
Consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Sarah Mitchell, who carried out the procedure, said: “The new method requires a programme of preparation and, instead of using spinal anaesthetic, the area around the knee is numbed.
“This means patients can mobilise quicker after their surgery, reducing loss of muscle and other associated risks such as clots.
“Mr Buchanan was our first day-case knee replacement and since then we have had another successful surgery.
“The feedback from Mr Buchanan has been overwhelmingly positive and he says the experience he had compared to his previous knee replacement, when he remained in hospital for his recovery, was much better.”
NHS Fife recently outlined plans for a new elective orthopaedic centre at the Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy.
The development, which will be completed in March 2022, will see the creation of a state of the art facility that will be home to three operating theatres, a 34 bed supporting ward and associated outpatient facilities.
A key asset of the centre will be the inclusion of a day-case bed area of the orthopaedic ward to be dedicated to enhanced recovery patients.
Mrs Mitchell said NHS Fife was well placed to cope with the rising number of people now needing joint replacements in Scotland.
She said: “Across Scotland there are around 15,000 major joint replacements carried out every year and we know that the number of patients requiring surgery continues to rise.
“The new centre will be put Fife at the heart of orthopaedic excellence across Scotland.”
Tricia Marwick, NHS Fife chairwoman, was quick to praise staff for what she called “an amazing achievement”.
She said: “Once again our fantastic orthopaedic team in NHS Fife is leading the way, doing pioneering work and ensuring the best care for their patients.
“The plans for new orthopaedic theatres in Fife are well advanced and when completed will ensure that Fife’s growing reputation as a centre of excellence will be assured.”