From hesitant steps to boundless strides with Mako Robotic-Assisted Surgery

Meet Simon, an energetic 61-year-old who refused to let a nagging hip condition hinder his active lifestyle. Simon received a hip replacement at Nuffield Health Leeds Hospital under the skilled hands of Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Mr James Hahnel, assisted by the cutting-edge surgical Mako Robotic-Assisted Arm Technology.

Meet Simon

Prior to Simon's surgery, his hip pain had limited his mobility, “any twisting motion of my hip caused me great pain” Simon shared. Upon thorough examination and diagnostic testing, he was diagnosed with osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease. Recognising the adverse impact this would have on an active lifestyle, Simon decided to seek independent medical care to expedite his pathway to surgery and alleviate his symptoms.

Choosing the right surgeon

Simon conducted extensive research to find an orthopaedic surgeon for his upcoming hip replacement surgery. In his pursuit, he stumbled upon videos on our Leeds Hospital YouTube channel featuring Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Mr James Hahnel.

He was struck by Mr Hahnel's warm and approachable demeanour and impressed with Mr Hahnel's excellent surgical success rates and patient satisfaction statistics. Eager to have a surgeon who, not only, possessed remarkable technical skills but also displayed a genuine interest in patient well-being, Simon chose Mr Hahnel for his hip replacement surgery.

Discovering robotic-assisted surgery

Simon then came across the possibilities offered by the Mako Robotic-Assisted Arm and found that Mr James Hahnel uses this groundbreaking technology to assist his hip replacement surgeries at Nuffield Health Leeds Hospital. One of the most significant benefits of the Mako Robotic-Assisted Arm lies in its precision. Combining Mr Hahnel’s expertise with robotic assistance allows for unparalleled accuracy in implant placement.

Simon's case was no exception. Through a personalised pre-operative plan developed using advanced imaging technology, Mr Hahnel ensured that the implant fit Simon's anatomy perfectly, optimising long-term functionality and reducing the risk of complications.

Preparing for surgery

Leading up to his surgery, Simon demonstrated remarkable dedication by engaging in ‘prehabilitation’ exercises to strengthen the surrounding muscles and maintain his overall physical fitness. Despite the pain, he remained active, participating in Pilates, dog walking, cycling, and even utilising hiking poles during long walks. Maintaining or improving physical fitness levels prior to surgery allows the body the opportunity for a quicker and easier recovery.

Postoperative rehabilitation

Post-surgery, Mr Hahnel advises that patients take a non-precautionary approach to postoperative rehabilitation. This involves educating the patient about their body and its limitations and empowering them to recognise when it’s necessary to halt or moderate their activities. Mr James Hahnel said “the idea is that the patient can resume normal life quicker and listen to their body. We found that if patients follow this pathway their functional outcome score is better than those who follow precautionary pathways.”

A triumph in recovery

Simon began his journey to recovery with a few cautious steps after his hip replacement surgery. With the help of our dedicated physiotherapists, he discovered a set of exercises that he committed to wholeheartedly in those early days.

Determined to regain strength and mobility, Simon then decided to try out an exercise bike to ease his hip into the motions of cycling. “I did a minute or two a day on the exercise bike and would build that up day on day, very slowly. Then I was able to increase the resistance on the device so I could push a bit harder” shared Simon and within just a month post-op, he triumphantly pedalled his way back to cycling twenty miles.

Living pain-free again

Six months on, gone are the days of grimacing through pain during physical activities. Simon's new hip restored his hip joint's functionality.

From cycling along his beloved neighbourhood trails to trekking through beautiful country sides with his wife, Simon regained his ability to move with freedom and confidence, no longer held back by his hip discomfort.

Simon's journey from a life constrained by hip pain to rediscovering the realm of activeness is a testament to the remarkable synergy between skilled surgeons like Mr James Hahnel and groundbreaking technologies like the Mako Robotic-Assisted Arm. By harnessing the precision and customisation this technology offers, patients like Simon can once again embrace life with joy and enthusiasm.

Book a consultation

To book a consultation with Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Mr James Hahnel, please call us on 0113 322 7251 or for more information about James, please visit or

Last updated Wednesday 3 July 2024

First published on Wednesday 3 July 2024