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Primary school teacher back teaching 5 weeks after robotic-assisted knee surgery


Jenny Dobson, a primary school music teacher had life-changing robotic-assisted total knee replacement surgery in September this year. 

Jenny, also a volunteer for the past eight years for an orphanage in Lesotho was desperate to get back to help the 75 children who live in this aids-rife country.  

Jenny knew something had to be done when she could not get down the steps to the water at her local swimming pool. Jenny loved yoga and daily swimming but the osteoarthritis in her right knee was making her life completely debilitating. 

Jenny, 58, went to see a physio who said she needed a new knee. After getting a referral from her GP, Jenny chose to see Mr Bourke as he had also helped her daughter - performing successful ACL reconstruction. 

Jenny had an Xray and MRI confirming the need for a new knee. She thought it better to have the knee replacement now to give her a better quality of life rather than be in pain for the next 5-10 years.  

Although her initial surgery was postponed in May due to COVID, Jenny kept doing the Joe Wicks PE sessions every morning with her key worker children at school - and that really helped keep her mobile. But when the summer holidays came, Jenny could feel with the lack of activity, she was getting progressively worse. 

Jenny finally had her surgery at the end of September 2020 at BMI The Princess Margaret Hospital in Windsor. She said “Mr Bourke clearly explained the benefits of having the robotic surgery and I was not at all phased by having this latest treatment - I trusted Mr Bourke implicitly. It was totally the right time to have the surgery done.” 

Jenny was in for three nights requiring only a sedation. during surgery. She went home on two crutches but quickly only needing the one. Four weeks later, her physio made her come off the crutches completely. 

After five weeks, Jenny was able to have a phased return back to work.  But it was eight weeks after surgery, when Jenny noticed a real change and began to feel like herself once again. She said ”Although I had pain in my muscles, I no longer had any pain in my joints,  and I could get out of bed without using my crutches.  Until I had the operation, I could not hope for things to get any better. I have come so far in eight weeks.” 

Jenny continues “Mr Bourke, I just wanted to say a huge thank you for all your care and attention before, during and after my knee replacement.  Thank you for the great job you did in surgery and for being so encouraging in my follow-up appointments. I am determined to carry on with the exercises and eventually reward myself with climbing Table Mountain again. I also hope to get back to volunteering in Lesotho in 2021. Then I will know I have really made it."    

Mr Bourke added "Mrs Dobson is fantastic example of a patient who is motivated to get back to her 'old life' before her knee osteoarthritis got the better of her. With the right help through the surgery and her grim determination through the rehabilitation she has achieved an excellent result. I have no doubts she will return to her wonderful volunteering work in Southern Africa. Well done!"