If you suffer from knee pain, you aren’t alone. Individuals of all ages can experience knee problems at any point in life, from sports injuries as young people to arthritis later down the line. Help is close at hand for Bramhall residents, however, courtesy of The Knee.Expert, Mr Bilal Barkatali.
I Love Bramhall met up with Bilal – one of the top knee surgeons in the North West – to find out how he’s shaking up outdated approaches to knee care and prioritising preservation over replacement.
A consultant orthopaedic knee surgeon working both privately and for the NHS, Bilal divides his time between the Alexandra Hospital in nearby Cheadle, his NHS base at Salford Royal and clinic visits around Manchester, Macclesfield and the wider North West.
Having qualified in 2004, Bilal spent ten years training to become a specialist. In the years since, he’s carved out quite a career that includes recognition for his work on knees and hips, publication of in-depth research pieces, numerous award wins and the development of a pioneering approach to joint preservation which is preferable to replacement in many cases.
Living in nearby Heaton Moor with his wife and children, Bilal grew up in Bolton. A keen footballer and rugby player, Bilal injured his knee during a match in his youth, and it was this experience that ignited his passion for joint care. Undergoing knee surgery and making a full recovery, Bilal was able to play football again and was inspired to help others in the same way.
His approach to joint care is one of preservation using scientific stem cell and biological treatment methods. The earlier a knee problem is diagnosed, the better, Bilal says, because cartilage in the knee can wear away over time. When this happens, the bones in the knee can rub, causing friction, pain and damage.
The Knee.Expert offers treatments to promote tissue regeneration and help patients keep their own knees for longer. In some cases, replacement knee surgery will be required, but the operation usually needs repeating every ten years and some loss of mobility is likely after each operation – which is why it’s important to obtain a diagnosis early on.
There are many tell-tale signs to look out for when it comes to diagnosing a knee problem, such as pain in the knee, injury, experiencing a locking sensation or feelings that the joint is giving way, instability, kneecap dislocation or pain following a knee replacement. The Knee.Expert offers a range of services, including joint preservation surgery, sports knee surgery, non-surgical management of knee problems and joint replacement surgery to cater for all knee complaints.
Patients benefit from Bilal’s vast experience and skill, not to mention his attentive manner and commitment to rehabilitation. Along with his team of assistant surgical staff and physios, The Knee.Expert follows a six-step process comprising assessment, diagnosis, education and pre-assessment, surgery, enhanced recovery, rehabilitation and follow-up to ensure that everyone is well looked after and on track for successful surgery and recovery.
In cases where non-surgical management is recommended, The Knee.Expert is able to administer injections of stem cells to help regenerate tissue for those in the later stages of disease, or platelet-rich-plasma (PRP) to promote healing among those in the early stages. A relatively new treatment, PRP isolates key nutrients in the blood that, when injected into damaged areas, are associated with speeding up recovery and boosting the healing process.
To develop this further this, Bilal is also in the process of opening up a specialised PRP surgery in Cheadle that will treat medical patients but also offer PRP therapy as an aesthetic procedure. Already popular among celebrities keen to keep their complexions glowing and youthful, PRP is a method of facial rejuvenation without the use of anti-wrinkle injections or fillers – watch this space for more news!
In the meantime, to find out more about The Knee Expert, or to arrange a consultation with Bilal, use the links below: