The Wise Words of Pepe the Bone Man.

I remember to this day (October 1982) sitting in the office of the senior orthapedic surgeon at UCH London, Mr Pepe Pozo. His words to me were- “Well Simon you have a choice, I can leave the knee alone but you will not be able to play any further sport or I can operate and remove bits and pieces but the down side is that you may suffer from some arthritis when you are 50.” 

This is not really a choice to give to a 19 year old who at the time was playing rugby on a regular basis. Two weeks later I went under the knife – yes in those days keyholes had not been invented and what now is an afternoon procedure became a 10 day stay in hospital with complete removal of various bits of the knee. (Bizarrely I still have those bits at home in a jar of formaldehyde!)

The operation was a complete success and after 3 months I was back playing rugby (badly). Unfortunately Mr Pozo’s power of prediction has proved to be uncannily accurate. Here I sit at 49 hardly being able to move because of the pain and swelling in my knee. Thank goodness this only happens a couple of times a year but I still do not know what sets it off.

I have to accept that a visit to a modern day bone man is overdue but I hope that medicine has advanced sufficiently for them to but back what they removed albeit in plastic or whatever.

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