High tibial osteotomy patient story

Rick Kelsey is a Times Radio, BBC Business and Spotify presenter who also hosts one of the fastest growing sports YouTube channels, The Running Channel, with well over 500,000 subscribers and bringing how-tos, features, top tips and more about running to runners of all abilities.

Yet, after two failed knee surgeries, Rick was worried he’d never be able to run again. After a third opinion from Mr David Houlihan-Burne and a high tibial osteotomy performed last year, Rick was able to don his running shoes once more.

“It’s been a long road but after three operations and eight months on crutches, we are – fingers crossed – at the beginning of my comeback to running. There have been many setbacks and quite frankly at times I didn’t know if I was ever going to get out of pain again, never mind run again.

“In February 2021, I was doing sprint intervals in the park and all of a sudden just something went in my knee. I didn’t know at the time how much it was going to test me physically and at times make me feel completely hopeless.

“I’d lost all the cartilage in my knee and in parts it was completely down to the bone and I had multiple tears. The decision was made to perform a chondroplasty which had a 50% chance of success but as I was only in my 30s it was still worth a go.

“However, it failed and it was time for something more drastic – an operation known as a high tibial osteotomy. Essentially, they cut your tibia in two and put in a wedge in order to shift your weight from one side of your leg to another. It’s only done in certain circumstances and the recovery was brutal.

“David Houlihan-Burne is a top surgeon who has worked with a lot of elite GB athletes, so I have absolutely no idea why he wanted to work with me, but he did and he worked his magic and I started to think well maybe there’s a chance I can get back to running.”