Everyone has heard of kidney donors – but what about a knee donor? Or a meniscus transplant to be more precise.
Thanks to the NHS Amanda Fryer is now in much less pain after successfully undergoing an operation for the knee procedure in 2021.
“I now have a much better quality of life,” said Amanda, who is ward clerk at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals.
The meniscus is a C-shaped cartilage in the knee that helps the joint bear weight, glide and turn.
Surgery can repair a damaged or torn meniscus but sometimes they have to be removed and the joint can become very painful with swelling and arthritis.
Amanda had suffered with her right knee since an accident aged 14. Years of treatment followed until the meniscus became too damaged to repair after her knee was caught in the door of a motorhome.
She was operated on under general anaesthetic at Wrightington hospital, near Wigan, which has a proud tradition of orthopaedic surgery. It was there in 1962 that Sir John Charnley performed the world’s first total hip replacement surgery.
Amanda’s donor meniscus came from the United States but “the operation had to be postponed because I’d been sent a left knee meniscus rather than a right”.
The meniscus has no blood supply of its own which means there is no risk of rejection by the body. That meant Amanda was able to move straightaway to a programme of rehabilitation.
“I want to say a special thank you to Stephen Jackson, my physiotherapist at Blackpool, who has been very supportive,” said Amanda, who will qualify as bereavement and grief counsellor later this summer.