Pain Journey following knee complaint – Paul Hotz

Retired Pain Foundation Board Member, Paul Hotz

Paul’s pain journey started with a minor meniscus problem, which led to many surgeries, a diagnosis of Staphylococcus aureus (staph or golden staph), and with the overprescription of pain medications, Paul’s chronic pain became a secondary issue to an opioid addiction.

With his infected knee inflaming to the size of a rugby ball and suffering from extreme pain, Paul was encouraged to treat the pain with opioids. This led Paul down the path of surgery in an attempt to save his leg, which at one point, due to the infection, was at risk of amputation.

Paul found the issue of chronic pain so extreme, that he began to rely upon opioids for relief. The journey ran for seven years and as many surgeries, with the ultimate solution being the replacement of his knee with a titanium one, which, if not successful, would have seen Paul destined for amputation.

Prior to the final surgery, Paul found himself addicted to the opioid drugs doctors had prescribed. He warned others experiencing pain about the impacts of opioids, highlighting that doctors will treat the issue at hand with medication, but they don’t always realise the impacts.

With the help of a rehabilitation centre, and Pain Foundation founder, Professor Michael Cousins AO at Royal North Shore Hospital, Paul is living life free of pain and drug dependency.

Paul Hotz, thank you for sharing your story and bringing awareness to chronic pain.

Source: Pain Foundation