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Craig overcomes historic sporting injury thanks to revolutionary knee treatment

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03 Dec
A sport-loving property director from Cannock has received a ground-breaking treatment which has finally ended years of crippling knee pain.

Craig Watts has taken part in a range of sports since childhood from football, rugby and tennis to snow and water skiing. But he has also had his fair share of accidents and injuries – including having the cartilage in his left knee removed as a teenager.

And, this wear and tear damage eventually led to the development of osteoarthritis; a painful and debilitating condition that that in the West Midlands alone affects almost 19% of adults aged over 45.

Craig, 60, said: “I tried various doctors and experts to try and find a way to relieve the pain, but they all said I’d need a new knee. I even went to an orthopaedic surgeon whilst I was skiing in Switzerland who outright said I was going to need a knee replacement.”

The grandfather-of-two resorted to hydrocortisone injections - a steroid released directly into the joint to reduce swelling – but this only masked the pain for short periods.

Too young for a knee replacement but in chronic pain that affected him physically and emotionally, Craig was finally recommended to the Midland Knee Protect Clinic in Solihull, where he was suitable to try a potentially game-changing treatment for knee osteoarthritis developed by Zimmer Biomet.

Uniquely, nSTRIDE® is designed to target the inflammation which drives cartilage degradation in osteoarthritis. Anti-inflammatory proteins and anabolic growth factors are taken from a patient’s own blood and concentrated in a centrifuge before being injected back into their knee to provide pain relief and improved function for up to three years.

Aimed at patients with mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis, a single nSTRIDE® injection can provide effective pain relief and improved knee function for up to three years.

Since receiving nSTRIDE® Craig has been living pain-free: “It was such an easy, straightforward process and nSTRIDE® has been brilliant.

“All the pain has completely gone away. The pain had been getting to a point when it was starting to interfere with my ability to go to work, and even just walk my dog, but since having nSTRIDE® it’s like my life has gone back to normal.”

Craig runs two major businesses in the region; a property company that has built houses for over 36 years and a Dudley-based sofa manufacturer with around 150 employees. He is now able to keep up with a hectic worklife as well as enjoying more active, pain-free leisure activities again.

Craig has been so impressed by the results he’s now getting booked in a second nSTRIDE® injection in his other knee, after which he hopes to get back into tennis.

Midland Knee Protect Clinic Lead and experienced Orthopaedic Consultant Mr Jamie Arbuthnot added: “The chronic pain caused by conditions such as osteoarthritis can have a massive impact on an someone’s life. It’s more than just the impact on your physical health - it can make it hard to spend time with your family, to succeed in the workplace – so there’s a whole mental health aspect as well.

“Having a dedicated clinic for people with knee osteoarthritis means patients like Craig receive prompt diagnosis and effective treatment at each stage of their disease, which can lead to really fantastic results on an individual’s health.

“There’s solid evidence to show nSTRIDE® has the potential to significantly delay the need for knee replacement operations through maintained function, reducing the impact on the NHS, social care and economy.”

The Midland Knee Protect Clinic provides tailored treatment and support for patients with wear and tear knee joint pain. It has performed over 200 nSTRIDE® injections, and demand is growing as people face long treatment delays because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Knee pain is the reason for around 60,000 GP appointments every day in the UK and 23 per cent of all people over the age of 50 report severe knee pain.

A knee replacement is the common surgical solution, but with the UK’s average age for a total knee replacement being 69 years, there can be a long, painful gap between when non-surgical treatments stop working and a patient is suitable for a knee replacement.

This treatment gap is likely to get wider because of the Coronavirus pandemic which has significantly increased waiting times for non-urgent surgery, leaving many more people having to endure the damaging and debilitating consequences of crippling knee pain.


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