17th March 2023
private physiotherapy

Last August, a young woman named Sarah-Jayne Wilson was referred to Sano after a long journey with the NHS (link to the news piece). She was misdiagnosed three times by NHS clinicians with a common musculoskeletal disorder before our Physiotherapist, Rezarta, intervened and urged her to get an MRI scan which came back with the life-changing result of a rare bone cancer. 

The Long NHS Journey

Sarah-Jayne was having difficulty walking and kneeling, so contacted her NHS GP.  She was diagnosed by the doctor, over the phone, with tendonitis, a general term for swollen or painful tendons. The doctor advised her to ‘not to kneel on it, and go swimming’. 

However, the situation worsened to the point where Sarah-Jayne could hardly walk – so she went to the A&E at George Elliot Hospital in Nuneaton. This time, the diagnosis was ‘shin splints’ – usually caused by running – despite the fact that she’s not a runner. 

Sarah-Jayne was in agony as the pain continued to worsen. Struggling with walking, she eventually fell over and returned to the A&E. Given an X-ray, she was told confidently that she had Osgood-Schlatter Disease – a commonly seen condition in adolescents (although, she is 27 years old). She was then discharged from A&E with some painkillers and advice to ‘go swimming’ and ‘get some physio’. 

Following the advice from A&E, she was looking to book a physiotherapy appointment through the NHS. However, she was advised that this would take weeks. To avoid the long wait as her symptoms became increasingly concerning, she reached out to her employer, BT OpenReach, who referred her to Sano for private physio treatment. This is a common work benefit for large and medium sized companies and meant that Sarah-Jayne would have her symptoms investigated and treated more rapidly, avoiding the stress of having to wait weeks before she got to see an NHS physio. 

About Sano Physiotherapy

Sano Physiotherapy Ltd is one of the biggest private MSK physiotherapy companies in the UK. We currently have 37 clinics across England and we are opening and acquiring new clinics regularly. We provide rapid access to high quality physiotherapy services, supporting and relieving pressure from the NHS. Our Client Care team contacted Sarah-Jayne within 30 minutes of receiving the employer referral, and had her initial assessment booked in for the next working day at one of our clinics, only 3 miles (10 minutes’ drive) away from her home. Without being on a long waiting list of having to travel, she was able to rapidly access our Chartered physiotherapist, Rezarta. 

Sano’s Life-saving Intervention

Chartered physiotherapist

At the appointment, Rezarta was aware that there was only a very remote chance an adult would present with Osgood-Schlatter Disease. Rezarta also noticed some clinical ‘red flags’ during a detailed physical assessment, such as snapping and popping sounds in Sarah-Jayne’s knee, the knee ‘giving-way’ (or collapsing) and an on-going clicking noise. These red flags indicated a potential injury of the meniscus or ligaments of the knee, not tendonitis or Osgood-Schlatter Disease, as advised by the NHS teams. 

With many years of specialist MSK physiotherapy experience, Rezarta conducted a more thorough objective examination of the knee and one of the tests – the McMurray’s test (used to detect internal tears in the knee joint) – found potential meniscal injury. Another minor sign caught Rezarta’s attention: the swelling and tenderness were slightly too lateral (to the side) for Osgood-Schlatter Disease, which usually presents to the front of the knee. Taking these factors into account, Rezarta prepared a detailed GP referral letter for the patient to get an MRI scan as soon as possible. 

The patient attended for an MRI scan a couple of weeks later, which came back with a heart-breaking news – she had an aggressive and rare bone cancer. 

We were deeply sorry to hear this when she got back to us with the bad news and expressed her appreciation to Rezarta. It was Rezarta’s professionalism, attention to detail and the timely intervention that led her to finally receive chemotherapy and other interventions which she desperately needed. 

Seeing a private physio is of more benefit than you imagine:

  • Avoid NHS waiting lists
  • Choose the timing best suits you
  • Have more time with the physio to assess the problem thoroughly (our assessments are between 30 and 60 minutes, compared to GP’s 8-minute appointments and even less in A&E)
  • Our physiotherapists are specialised and trained in musculoskeletal (MSK) assessment and treatment with the whole company focused on MSK care

Without a doubt, our skill, experience and diligent intervention in this case have had such a significant impact on Sarah-Jayne’s life. Although most cases aren’t as extreme, fast access to an expert physiotherapist can be life-changing. 

Please read our blog on the benefits of our service here. If you believe you could benefit from our expert physiotherapy care, book in for an initial assessment below or give us a call on 0330 041 4670.