Welcome to the website of Mr David Sweetnam, Consultant Orthopaedic & Trauma Surgeon, offering highly specialised treatment for sports injury and the full range of knee problems.
As a specialist in the diagnosis and management of orthopaedic knee conditions, my
primary objective is
to ensure that you receive the appropriate treatment to get you back on your feet as quickly as
Many of my patients are professional sports people and athletes competing at national and international
level. Others, who lead busy lives in the world of finance, the media, politics and the arts, enjoy
leisure pursuits. Like you, their schedules are full and their time is precious. That’s why, within a
of your initial consultation, my priority will be to arrive at a full diagnosis of your condition and
a working plan for your treatment.
In my experience, at least 85% of all patients with knee conditions will not require surgery. By investing time with you at the outset and using the most appropriate diagnostic routes, I look for solutions where surgery is the last resort. Where surgery is unavoidable, such as with a torn cartilage or ruptured cruciate ligament, minimally invasive techniques developed over the last 15 years will be used.
Meniscal injuries are one of the
commonest problems that I see as an orthopaedic
surgeon specialising in knee injuries/problems. The meniscus is perhaps more commonly referred to as the
knee ‘cartilage’.We have all heard of professional sportsmen and women sustaining ‘cartilage injuries’,
it may come as a surprise to know that the majority of my patients tear their cartilage undertaking
common day-to-day activities.
For this reason, it often doesn’t occur to the patient or their family doctor that they may have torn a cartilage. A significant twisting injury sustained whilst playing football or skiing may result in a tear but the day to day action of getting up from sitting on the floor can produce the same result, especially in the older age group. In orthopaedic terms, the phrase “older age group” sadly refers to patients over 30! After this age, the cartilage has already started to turn from a very resilient, tough construct to a more brittle one. It is for this reason that a simple twisting injury can cause a small split within the cartilage.
The role of the Physiotherapist in rehab is a pivotal one. The therapists’
relationship with both the patient and the Consultant is paramount in the smooth recovery following
any type of intervention from injection to post surgical follow up.
The Physiotherapist must be fully versed in the protocols of the surgeon and feel completely confident to request a review if they feel the patient is not making adequate progress. It is not always evident to the patient if there is an issue which needs to be discussed between the Consultant and his team. A clear and concise format of exercises must be provided to the patient of what they are required to do in their own time at home. Common sense must prevail with return to work, driving and use of equipment in the gym environment etc. It is not advisable to follow the advice of anyone other than the Consultant and his Physiotherapist. Attendance for Physiotherapy does vary according to the procedure being carried out but the Physiotherapist will be able to give you clear advice on the number and frequency of post operative appointments. This figure does vary with the individual case.