A SPORTS enthusiast crippled with pain can now paddleboard, thanks to revolutionary treatment.

Knutsford dentist Alastair Kennedy has always led an active life and his knees have paid the price.

The 64-year-old keen hillwalker was diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis following injuries nearly 30 years apart.

“Things really came to a head during the pandemic,” said Alastair, from Davenham.

“I was getting alternating pain in both knees, so some days I would be able to walk a few miles without pain, but then on others I wouldn’t get down to the shops.

“It got to the point where it would be painful trying to get to sleep but you don’t want to be taking painkillers all the time, which is where I was.

Knutsford Guardian: Alastair Kennedy is delighted to be able to enjoy sport againAlastair Kennedy is delighted to be able to enjoy sport again

“Steroid injections are not a long-term solution because they can cause deterioration of the joint.

“I didn’t want to think about the prospect of major knee replacement surgery but as we came out of second lockdown that is very much what I was facing.”

Alastair is now back doing the sports he loves after having nSTRIDE® APS, a unique therapy that uses healthy extracts from patients’ own blood to target the causes of osteoarthritis as well as treating the pain itself.

Alastair had the treatment in both knees at the Cheshire Hip and Knee Clinic in Warrington last December.

Anti-inflammatory proteins and anabolic growth factors were taken from his blood and, after being concentrated in a centrifuge, injected back into his knees.

“It was such a quick, straightforward process and both knees are really improved,” he said.

“It’s just so amazing not being in pain.

“I’m doing physiotherapy and yoga and have been able to do eight mile walks without any problem.

“I’ve also been paddleboarding and windsurfing which has been great and I’m already planning a trip to the Lake District for some serious hillwalking.”

Developed by Zimmer Biomet, the treatment is targeted at patients with mild to moderate knee disease.

A single injection can provide effective pain relief and improved knee function for up to five years.

Specialist hip and knee surgeon Nikhil Pradhan runs an early intervention clinic for knee osteoarthritis at his Cheshire Hip and Knee Clinic.

He has seen increased demand as the impact of the pandemic continues to increase waiting times for non-urgent orthopaedic surgery.

Mr Pradhan said: “Living with knee pain can be really quite debilitating, not just physically but psychologically too.

“It can affect your ability to work, your family life and relationships.

“The management of pain is a ladder with painkillers and physiotherapy at the bottom and surgical options finishing with a knee replacement at the top.

“Before this the only thing we could offer these patients was opioid painkillers to mask the pain and steroid injections which only provide very short-term pain relief and in younger patients can also cause damage to the cartilage.

“But nSTRIDE® provides me with a potential solution to offer these patients.

“For the first time we are looking at being able to treat the cause of pain which is potentially game-changing.”

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

Mr Pradhan added: “There is enough known now to say nSTRIDE® has the potential to slow the rate of progression of early onset arthritis as well as providing patients with a natural biological treatment that may relieve their pain.

“Biologics really is the future.”