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Farmer avoids financial disaster by having two knee replacements at the same time

58-year-old farmer and cattle trader Chris Gore, who lives in Stoke-on-Trent, needed both his knees to be replaced after the demands of his job and playing sport took their toll.

Being self-employed, it would have been disastrous financially to have to take months off work to recover from surgery so Chris contacted Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr Henry Bourke who works with another surgeon, Mr Rakesh Kucheria, to operate at the same time, one on each knee. This means that both knees can be replaced in one hour, there’s less anaesthetic time which leads to a faster recovery.

Chris said: “My job entails standing on a concrete floor around a live cattle auction ring every day, whilst buying livestock, so coupled with the heavy work which farming demands and after years of playing sport in my younger days, my knees had become extremely painful as they started to deteriorate. This pain increased over the years until the movement and flexibility was seriously affected and I was struggling to walk without limping and was facing the inevitable prospect of surgery.”



After seeing Mr Bourke in Windsor, it was agreed that Chris would have a bilateral simultaneous knee replacement in December when his work was quieter. 

Mr Bourke said: “With two surgeons operating at the same time for 60 to 90 minutes, both knees are replaced in one go and the patient takes less time to recover.”

The operation was a success and following post-operative physiotherapy Chris was using a static exercise bike six weeks later without any pain.

“My work life is so much easier and I even walked up the steps to Edinburgh castle and down again this summer without a thought, something I could never have done less than a year ago,” said Chris.

Mr Bourke explained that operating with someone next to you, requiring the same instruments as you at the same time can be a challenge. He added: “It helps that we understand each other’s surgical techniques and usually we can predict who needs which instrument when. Having a left-hand and right-hand combination of surgeons does help as we don’t tend to get in each other’s way.

“We are delighted that Chris has managed to make such a great recovery in a relatively short period of time and that he could get back to his work sooner rather than later.”