Mar 21, 2018
A promising young footballer who injured his hip just before a trial with a Premier League club is back on the pitch thanks to specialist hip and knee surgery, which we supported with charitable funding.
Jovel Jackson-Davis, 15 from Waterloo in London, was one of the first patients to benefit from the new service at Evelina London Children’s Hospital, which is the first children’s hospital in London and the South East of England to provide arthroscopic - or keyhole - hip and knee surgery to under-16s.
Rising numbers of children are suffering from knee and hip injuries due to the increasing popularity of competitive sports, and there is a need to treat these injuries in an appropriate setting which meets their specific needs. Keyhole surgery is already a well-established procedure for adults, and is used to remove or repair damaged cartilage, torn ligaments and inflamed tissue around joints.
The benefits to children are the same as in adults: the procedure is less invasive than traditional surgery, patients experience less pain and recovery is much faster, which is good news for sporty teenagers like Jovel.
He says: “When I hurt my hip, the timing couldn’t have been worse. I'd just been spotted by a talent scout and offered a trial with a Premier League club, and I was really worried this would ruin my chances. But Evelina London got me back on the pitch in record time. I had my operation in September and by January I was back training and free from pain.”
The service at Evelina London was set up by Mr Michail Kokkinakis, a consultant children's orthopaedic surgeon. Charitable funding was used to purchase the highly specialised equipment needed to provide the service to young patients. Mr Kokkinakis says: “There is a rising need for arthroscopic surgery among under-16s, but until recently our children’s orthopaedic team was not in a position to provide this service. Now, thanks to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, we have our own dedicated hip and knee arthroscopy equipment. Children can be referred, assessed and treated in a dedicated environment with patients their own age, and looked after by experienced clinicians who specialise in treating children.”
Find out more about how charitable funding helps improve care, patient experience and staff welfare at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.