Chelsie Moult, 27 and a passionate marathon runner, recently underwent bilateral knee surgery after a serious horse-riding accident.
I tore my right ACL and meniscus when I was 14. I was competing in show jumping at national and international level and the thought of taking a significant break from the horses put me off having it operated on as it wasn’t seeming to be affecting what I could do so, I carried on until 2021 with my knee just occasionally locking.
Although it was painful when my knee locked, I could still run marathons and do everything I wanted in the gym. There were some sports I couldn’t participate in such as those which involved quick turns, but by this point, I knew what I could and couldn’t do and how to protect my knee.
Then in 2021, I had a nasty fall off a horse and obliterated everything in my left knee. I went to A&E immediately, but they said nothing showed up on the X-ray and said I was okay. I rang my physio, Mr Ian Andrews, and he took one look at my knee and said you need to see a surgeon.
He told me to contact Jonathan, and at my first appointment, Jonathan confirmed that my knees would need operating on. I wanted to have them both done in one go, and his first response was to say no, as bilateral surgery of this type is rarely performed as the recovery is so intense. I didn’t want to rehab one knee and then go through the whole process again a year or so later, so Jonathan performed an ACL repair on the left knee and an ACL and meniscus repair on the right knee during the same procedure.
I underwent rehab, and everything went incredibly smoothly, and I was back marathon training within a few months completing both London and New York in 2022.
Undergoing secondary knee surgery
However, a year to the day of surgery, my right knee began to lock. I rang Mel, Jonathan’s secretary, who was amazing, and I was booked to see Jonathan two days later and underwent a scan. The MRI indicated that it was just scar tissue and all was fine, so I continued marathon running and my usual activities.
However, my knee continued to lock, and it was becoming more frequent, so I recontacted Jonathon’s secretary. This time I spoke to Ella, who was also fantastic and without hesitation booked me in for another consultation. Jonathan decided it was best to have an arthroscopy to check exactly what was happening. Unfortunately, here Jonathon discovered the meniscus repair had actually failed. Although, this is very common. During the procedure I had a partial meniscectomy on my right knee.
Rehabbing after bilateral knee surgery
The recovery so far has been excellent. I was back in the gym two days post-surgery and began running at four weeks post op. I have a few half marathons and functional fitness events booked in the coming months and I hope to be back to full fitness in 2024. I was booked into the Chicago Marathon in October 2023, but a combination of university exams and this second surgery had put me back a bit fitness wise, so I’m going to defer it to next year to enable sensible preparation.
I used to say that my accident was the worst thing that ever happened to me, but in the long run, it’s been a blessing in disguise. Previously, I was literally running myself into the ground, not prioritising recovery from training nor eating correctly and, overall, looking back my psychological and physiological health wasn’t good. This experience has made me take much better care of myself, especially my knees – for the future.
My rehab programme has been led by Ryan Spencer at Pyramid Performance in Kneeton, Nottingham. I am not an elite sportsperson, so I feel very fortunate to have had access to the support and knowledge from Ryan to facilitate my recovery as their support has been outstanding and I saw Jonathan two days ago for my check-up, and he seemed delighted with my progress.
It goes without saying though that the success has primarily been from the expertise of my surgeon and the quality of his work.
It’s not just Jonathan though, his fantastic team which surrounds him, and his secretaries have been wonderful. I had complete trust in them all from the get-go and without hesitation I would recommend Jonathan to anyone.