She feared she would never walk properly again - but months after her op, she trekked in the Himalayas

Anna Lynch in the Himalayas with husband Craig - just months after her life-changing operation.
Anna Lynch in the Himalayas with husband Craig - just months after her life-changing operation.

A woman who feared she may never walk properly again has been cured thanks to joint replacement surgery.

Anna Lynch’s left big toe was so painful at its worst that she feared she may never walk freely again.

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Rajiv Limaye.

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Rajiv Limaye.

But thanks to surgery she had at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, the Sunderland woman is now back to full health.

And she has even trekked 10,000 feet up the Himalayas just months after her operation.

She said: “I have always been a really active person. I’ve run lots of half marathons, I power walk and I cycle a lot. But over the last few years I have had this pain in the big toe on my left foot.

“I had always assumed it was a bunion and had just tried to ignore the pain, but it was gradually getting worse.”

Almost instantly the pain disappeared – I didn’t even take the pain killers I was given. I was soon back doing my power walking. My recovery was so good that my husband Craig and I travelled to the Himalayas with my daughter to trek to the Tigers Nest, something I never thought I’d be able to do

Anna Lynch

By last summer, the pain was so bad it was causing problems in her hip.

Anna told how it was causing problems with her gait “because of the way I had been walking with this pain in my toe.

“I saw my GP who said I needed to be referred for an x-ray. I did a bit of research and spoke to a friend who had been treated by a consultant at the trust and was very pleased, so I asked my GP to be referred to him.”

The doctor was consultant orthopaedic surgeon Rajiv Limaye, who assessed her and diagnosed severe arthritis.

Anna Lynch in the Himalayas with husband Craig - just months after her life-changing operation.

Anna Lynch in the Himalayas with husband Craig - just months after her life-changing operation.

Anna, a former NHS director who lives in Sunderland, said: “Mr Limaye told me that the only way the pain would go completely would be to have toe joint replacement surgery.

“I was booked in for surgery to the University Hospital of Hartlepool under general anaesthetic and went home later the same day.

“Almost instantly the pain disappeared – I didn’t even take the pain killers I was given. I was soon back doing my power walking. My recovery was so good that my husband Craig and I travelled to the Himalayas with my daughter to trek to the Tigers Nest, something I never thought I’d be able to do.”

Now retired, Anna worked as the director of public health for County Durham and before that she was director of public health for Easington.

Anna is married with four children and one grandchild and her personal interests range from running to dog training.

Mr Limaye said: “When I first saw Anna I told her the only way to cure her of the pain she had would be a full toe joint replacement. After having the surgery, her pain was gone and other discomfort she had experienced in her hip and her posture had also gone as a result.

“I hope Anna’s experience will encourage other people with the same issue to choose this option of treatment.”