Home   Business   Article

Subscribe Now

‘I’m back to full fitness and enjoying my football more than ever’





Sunday league footballer Tom Lacey was stunned when he discovered his knee problem was referred pain from his hips. Treatment by consultant orthopaedic surgeon Mr Vikas Khanduja at Nuffield Health Cambridge Hospital and Addenbrooke’s Hospital got him back on the pitch.

Tom Lacey, in blue, rises above the opposition. He was treated for bi-lateral hip impingement by consultant orthopaedic surgeon Mr Vikas Khanduja at Nuffield Health Cambridge Hospital. Picture: Tom Lacey
Tom Lacey, in blue, rises above the opposition. He was treated for bi-lateral hip impingement by consultant orthopaedic surgeon Mr Vikas Khanduja at Nuffield Health Cambridge Hospital. Picture: Tom Lacey

I’ve played football all my life, all kinds of sports, but football is my predominant sport, said Tom. I played in the Sunday league for nine years at Sawbridgeworth Football Club and one year for Elsenham before I joined Bishops Stortford in September 2019. I had a cracking first game, I scored twice, but at about 70 minutes in I had to come off due to a knee injury and that was my first and last game for them, I was devastated. My knee pain gradually got worse even though I was having regular physiotherapy, acupuncture and taping of my knee. Some days the pain would be excruciating and some days I would have next to no pain and often the pain would be in different places.

Eventually my physio referred me to Assistant Professor Carrothers, an orthopaedic surgeon. When a scan revealed that my knee was fine, he referred me to Mr Khanduja, a specialist in the Young Adult Hip based at the Nuffield Health Cambridge Hospital.

Mr Vikas Khanduja, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Nuffield Health Cambridge Hospital. Picture: Nuffield Health
Mr Vikas Khanduja, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Nuffield Health Cambridge Hospital. Picture: Nuffield Health

What happened when you went to see Mr Khanduja?

Mr Khanduja diagnosed me immediately which was nice because prior to seeing any specialists I’d been told so many different things and had had lots of different scans. Mr Khanduja explained that I had impingement in both my hips, it’s quite a specific thing and you really need an expert to diagnose it. He advised that I needed an arthroscopy on both hips, the left hip first and then my right hip a few months later when I had recovered from the first surgery.

What is a hip impingement?

Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) or hip impingement is a common cause of hip pain in young adults and is a condition in which there is an abnormal contact between the rim of the acetabulum (hip socket) and femoral head-neck junction (ball of the hip), on movement of the hip. This results in pain, labral and cartilage damage and in some cases arthritis of the hip. Some people with this condition may never experience pain or other symptoms. Others, especially people who are active, develop symptoms as early as their teens and when symptoms occur it is usually a sign of some damage to the joint.

Signs and symptoms of hip impingement can include:

- Pain in the groin or hip

- Radiation of pain to the knee or the side of the hip

- Pain from activity such as sport or after long periods of keeping the hip in a flexed position, ie driving

- Difficulty bending (flexing) the hip

- Stiffness in the groin or front of the thigh

- Limping

- Popping or clicking of the hip.

Tom Lacey, a Sunday league footballer who was treated for bi-lateral hip impingement by consultant orthopaedic surgeon Mr Vikas Khanduja at Nuffield Health Cambridge Hospital, waiting to get back on the pitch. Picture: Tom Lacey
Tom Lacey, a Sunday league footballer who was treated for bi-lateral hip impingement by consultant orthopaedic surgeon Mr Vikas Khanduja at Nuffield Health Cambridge Hospital, waiting to get back on the pitch. Picture: Tom Lacey

Did it ever occur to you that your hips were the problem?

No, not even a thought because the knee pain occurred after a tackle during a game, after a collision injury. I thought ‘I’ve done something to my ligaments, I’ve injured my knee’. One of the most significant things I remember was going to sit on a bean bag – when I crouched down, I felt this huge scrape or popping in my hips.

Mr Khanduja advised bi-lateral hip arthroscopies; how long did it take you to recover?

My left hip arthroscopy was in January 2021, Mr Khanduja wanted me to be 90 per cent recovered before my right hip arthroscopy scheduled for March 2021. I had my post-operative physio with Emily at the Nuffield Health Cambridge Hospital who was fantastic. Emily works very closely with Mr Khanduja, and he has a very specific rehab protocol to follow that ensured my recovery was on track and that I would be fit enough for the second surgery and back to full fitness before I went to university in September. Everything went to plan, and I was playing football again by the end of July and all set to start Bournemouth University in September 2021. My dream was to play football for the university, it was amazing as I got into to the team straight away, it was the first football I’d played in two years. I was quite emotional, it was so good to be back playing. My hips are in great condition now, I was lucky I got the impingement diagnosed so early. The impingement is gone, and my knee is fine, I’m back to full fitness and enjoying my football more than ever!

Tom Lacey, left, a Sunday league footballer who was treated for bi-lateral hip impingement by consultant orthopaedic surgeon Mr Vikas Khanduja at Nuffield Health Cambridge Hospital, celebrating with team mates. Picture: Tom Lacey
Tom Lacey, left, a Sunday league footballer who was treated for bi-lateral hip impingement by consultant orthopaedic surgeon Mr Vikas Khanduja at Nuffield Health Cambridge Hospital, celebrating with team mates. Picture: Tom Lacey

Mr Khanduja said: “Hip impingement is a common cause of hip pain in active young adults. Arthroscopic intervention for hip impingement has experienced rapid growth in popularity over the last two decades and continues to grow. Optimal outcomes following surgery can be achieved by careful pre-operative selection of patients, meticulous pre-operative planning, accurate intra-operative execution of the plan and adherence to the post-operative rehabilitation programme.”

Vikas Khanduja is a consultant orthopaedic surgeon and affiliated Associate Professor Professor at the University of Cambridge specialising in both sports surgery and arthroplasty aspects of hip surgery and has a particular interest in arthroscopic surgery of the hip. He has been instrumental in setting up the tertiary referral service for Young Adult Hip Surgery in Cambridge for the East of England.

Mr Khanduja holds clinics at Nuffield Health Cambridge Hospital on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7-9pm. To make an appointment, call 01223 370922. Nuffield Health Cambridge Hospital is at 4 Trumpington Road, Cambridge CB2 8AF.



This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More