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Harrogate Hospital: behind the scenes of a hip replacement

Beth Parsons, Jon Conroy and the team in operating theatre at Harrogate District Hospital

Published at 8:26am 11th March 2019. (Updated at 1:35pm 11th March 2019)

Jon Conroy Hip and Knee Specialist Promoted by
Jon Conroy Hip and Knee Specialist

A very special Stray FM report has accompanied a patient at Harrogate District Hospital during hip replacement surgery. 

  • Around 160,000 people have hip and knee replacement surgery every year in England and Wales (according to the National Joint Registry).
  • Jon Conroy, hip and knee surgeon, performs around 350 hip and knee replacements and revisions every year.

A hip replacement at Harrogate District Hospital

Michelle Griffiths is 59 years old and was suffering from osteoarthritis in her right hip. 

She described the pain to Stray FM:

"It's generally a dull ache, but then several times a day it's like someone is just shooting bullets down your leg towards your foot."

Despite previous attempts to relieve her of pain, it was decided that a full hip replacement was the best option

Michelle Griffiths before hip operation at Harrogate District Hospital
Michelle, 59, described being apprehensive, but excited to get her life back.

Referred from Pontefract to Harrogate District Hospital, Michelle did a lot of research into which surgeon to use and chose hip and knee specialist Jon Conroy

On Thursday 7th March 2019, she underwent the surgery with the assistance of the team at the hospital.

Operating theatre at Harrogate District Hospital
Inside the operating theatre of Harrogate District Hospital with Jon Conroy and some of his team after Michelle's operation

LISTEN HERE:

Beth Parsons from Stray FM's Health & Wellbeing Show accompanied 59 year old Michelle Griffiths during her hip replacement surgery with Jon Conroy at Harrogate District Hospital:

The team at Harrogate District Hospital

During the time spent at Harrogate Hospital, a huge range of staff and roles came into play. 

Ange on reception who welcomes patients and advises people where to go is the first port of call, and then on to Jodie, sister on the Elective Admissions and Discharge Unit, who makes sure Michelle is as ready for the surgery. 

A consultation with lead surgeon Jon Conroy and anesthetist Dr Brian Withington allowed Michelle to make decisions on her method of sedation or anesthetic. In this case, she opted for a spinal anesthetic, but to remain awake without sedation. This often give patients the best chance of a quick recovery. 

Kelly, care support worker, at Harrogate District Hospital
Kelly Mitchell, a care support worker in theatres at Harrogate District Hospital

Staff nurse David and care support worker Kelly escort Michelle from the admissions unit to theatre where she is reassured in a waiting room for a short time. 

"It's quite common that patients are quite nervous, so even things like having the television on can help settle their nerves, or just talking to them and answering any questions that they may have to put them at ease."

Kelly Mitchell - just before Michelle heads into theatre

David, staff nurse, at Harrogate District Hospital
David, staff nurse, at Harrogate District Hospital

Following a 'huddle' where all the involved staff are briefed on patient details and the operation taking place, Jon Conroy ensures everything is prepared. 

"We've just done our team brief, we call it a huddle, where all the team gets together in the anesthetic room and we've discussed each patient that's on the list today. We've checked that we've got all the right equipment and we're all prepared for the patient to come down."

Surgeon Jon Conroy.

ODP, Operating Department Practitioner, Gary Neil brings Michelle to the operating theatre where the final few details are discussed including anesthesia. 

Beth Parsons in scrubs at Harrogate District Hospital
Stray FM's Beth Parsons in scrubs at Harrogate District Hospital

Once everyone is scrubbed up, it's time for theatre. 

A full team of about 7 people are involved in the room including Grant Baker, who is the representative from Stryker, a company that provides all the sterlised equipment and joint replacement parts. 

He works closely with the team during the operation to ensure all the correct parts fit, are used correctly, and are then re-ordered for future patients. 

Beth Parsons, Jon Conroy and the team in operating theatre at Harrogate District Hospital
Beth Parsons, Jon Conroy and the team in operating theatre at Harrogate District Hospital

The hip replacement surgery took less than one hour to complete, went without a hitch, and because Michelle was awake through the surgery, had no need to recover from a general anesthetic

Moved to a recovery ward, it's now over to the Stephen and the physio team who will be working with Michelle to ensure as smooth a recovery as possible. 

In most cases, hip replacement patients are up and walking within hours of surgery.

Stephen the physio at Harrogate District Hospital
Stephen the physio at Harrogate District Hospital

Who is surgeon Jon Conroy?

Since 2006, Mr Conroy has been a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon.

He specialises in hip and knee surgery, carrying out around 350 hip and knee revision and replacements each year.

Jon does both NHS and private work at a variety of hospitals and clinics in Yorkshire.

He also has an MSc in Mechanical Engineering and uses this regularly in the design of future hip and knee replacements and technology developments, including robot assisted surgery.

More health stories from Harrogate, Craven and Wharfedale.

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