Karen Wright tells her Connect story after a traumatic wrist injury was followed by a debilitating frozen shoulder.

Karen Wright, 61 from Yorkshire, Great British Bake Off 2018 contestant explains how her frozen shoulder impacted her life and how innovative treatment from Connect helped her recover.

I spent many years holidaying in France with my husband, and that’s where my passion for food and baking really started. I loved the five weeks I spent on Bake Off, and now I do all sorts of things including a community radio show each week, a weekly column in my local paper and a monthly food slot on BBC Radio Leeds.

About three years ago I had a traumatic injury to my wrist.

It was broken and  I needed to have a plate put into it. It healed well and I can’t tell the difference now. But a few months later I noticed I couldn’t lift my arm up very far. I think the two were connected but the doctors weren’t sure. I went to my GP as my arm was getting worse and he gave me some exercises, before eventually referring me to a physiotherapist. I had several physio appointments but they made no impact so I went back and saw a different GP who referred me to Dr Marwan Al-Dawoud, Sports Medicine Doctor at Connect Health.

By this time my arm was affecting my quality of life really badly and it was starting to really get me down.

I couldn’t use deodorant or wash my hair. I couldn’t peg the washing out. My husband had to help me get dressed. I needed help from other people all the time and it was really frustrating. Sleeping was awkward so I was tired. My job at the time as a sampling assistant meant reaching up for things, which I found very difficult to do without help.

Seeing the Sports Medicine Doctor was a very positive experience.

He was so personable and it was an easy, nice, relaxing situation. He explained exactly what a frozen shoulder was and what was causing the pain.

The whole thing was a very positive and pleasant experience with no discomfort

He offered me a new procedure called hydrodistension.

He explained what it was really clearly and that it could have varying results. You’re injected with saline and the pressure of the saline stretches the joint capsule, forcing it open. Then you have a series of physiotherapy sessions. Some people have the injection and immediately feel better. Other people improve more gradually. My treatment was part of a study as the procedure is relatively new. I had absolute faith in the guy treating me. He made sure I understood exactly what was going to happen and I was excited to be part of it. It was a very quick appointment. I thought it might be uncomfortable, but it wasn’t.

The procedure gave me immediate benefit; it was instant pain relief. It felt like walking on water

Going from nothing to suddenly being able to lift my arm really high. I had 75% of my mobility back straight away. Some people have to have another injection, and at one point I thought I might benefit from one, but my physio kept reminding me how well I was doing and I didn’t have one. I kept going to physio and had to do exercises to get the arm up higher and higher. I also had to keep a record of what I could do so that they could measure my improvement.

I would absolutely recommend that procedure. There’s no downside. It didn’t even hurt. It was just like a miracle. It gave me my quality of life back; things were just back to normal.

The whole thing was a very positive and pleasant experience with no discomfort.

It was a pleasure to go there. It was local, there was plenty of parking and I was never kept waiting. The receptionist always made my appointment immediately. The physio was fab, really chilled out which made me relaxed too.

Every day now I motivate myself to do something different and make the most of every moment.

I get out there and do the things I couldn’t when I was in such discomfort. The other day I was at Harewood House doing a demonstration on how to make soda bread. I haven’t got any of the pain and restrictions I had before so I can just focus on having a good time.

It was just like a miracle. It’s given me my quality of life back

Click here to download Karen’s full story here

Find out more about Connect Health’s Patient Services here