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Ex-footballer’s new lease of life after pioneering surgery that required just one day in hospital

David Halcrow out walking his dog 3 weeks after a partial knee replacement (Alistair Linford)
David Halcrow out walking his dog 3 weeks after a partial knee replacement (Alistair Linford)

AN ex-footballer forced to quit his job after a crippling knee injury has hailed the pioneering surgeon who got him back on his feet.

David Halcrow, 59, is one of a dozen people who have received a partial knee replacement through NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde using a new method, which allows patients to leave hospital less than 24 hours after surgery.

Doctors say the technique – which feeds anaesthetic straight to the affected joint without paralysing muscles – could be used for full knee and hip replacements, allowing thousands of patients to leave hospital just hours after going under the knife.

Father-of-three David’s life came to a standstill after he developed severe arthritis in his left knee.

David Halcrow showing how his knee has healed 3 weeks after a partial knee replacement (Alistair Linford)

The former Brechin City footballer had to take early retirement from Bannockburn High School, where he had worked for more than 30 years as a PE teacher, due to ill health. But now he can’t wait to resume his active lifestyle following the operation.

David, from Falkirk, said: “I went in at 9.30am, and was back in the ward by 11.30am.

“By 12pm I was up on my feet with a physio. It was incredible.

“Being able to recover at home was a massive benefit as well.

“I’ll be able to swim, cycle, and walk my dog. That’s really all I wanted.

“I don’t know if I can go back to playing cricket again but we’ll see.”

David, right, playing for Bannockburn amateurs in 1989

Mark Blyth, an orthopaedic surgeon at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, used anaesthetic to numb the nerves around the knee without weakening David’s muscles.

He explained: “The next thing we want to do is look at other operations – total knee and hip replacements.”