Today I had an appointment at the Orthopaedic outpatient department at Southend university hospital, my pain management consultant had arranged for me to see Mr Greer about my ongoing pain and problems with the total knee replacement.

Its six years this month since I had the surgery and I have been even more disabled and in way more pain since the surgery, I have spoken with them before about amputation but have been turned down. However I hoped this time would be different as it’s been six years of agony and confinement due to the knee, its clonks and its so unbearable.
As usual I didn’t get to see the man himself and had to explain everything from the beginning to a doctor who doesn’t know me, I did plan to be strong and that didn’t work, just explaining what my day to day life is like left me in tears, my wife cried and the poor nurse in the room looked very upset. Finally the doctor went through the door behind him and spoke with Mr Greer the guy in charge, he came back with a very firm no but Mr Greer didn’t have the decency to come and speak to me himself.


I was offered a referral to Stanmore, the Royal national orthopaedic hospital but I explained how my anxiety makes this impossible. I then asked the doctor if he had seen the film ‘127 hour’ about a climber who becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and resorts to cutting his arm off with his penknife to escape and save his life.
I told him that the story is my story as well, I’m trapped because of this knee and I’m getting close to the point where I need to take drastic action to escape and save myself. He disagreed and said the guy in the film had no choice, but I am as much in that hole as Aron was back then and I’m desperate.

I told him that I have thought about taking an overdose because I can’t carry on like this, but I can’t do that because that’s not fair on my family.  I have even hatched a plan to use a tourniquet on my leg and leave it on so long that the leg is compromised and force them to amputate.

I’m so angry, these doctors that claim to care about people are leaving me like this, its as though I have died and yet I still go on living. I spend 98% of my time on the settee or in bed and only venture out for medical appointments. The photo above taken from their website says “care with compassion” and yet I’m left suffering, a vet wouldn’t allow an animal to suffer like this!

By Zechariah Richardson

Over 50, disabled, husband, father and gramps who reviews products and writes blog posts about his life, beekeeping, gardening and whatever pops into his brain!

3 thought on “Orthopaedic robots!”
  1. I’m sorry its so so hard for you. Maybe write to PALS to complain and request a detailed reason why they won’t amputate? It might be worth finding a way to get to Stanmore? Could you book hospital transport so your anxiety could be managed by not using public transport?

    1. Yes that’s a good idea about PALS, thank you. I haven’t been on public transport for decades but I suffer anxiety on busy roads as well, I’m a right one lol

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