How a pioneering, non-invasive treatment for knee osteoarthritis helped an award-winning ballroom dancer in her early seventies put her best foot forward
...and even lift the ‘Glitterball’ in a Regional Championships just weeks after the procedure!
“Dancing is my life,” says Corinne Edwards (71) from Solihull. And the thought of having to give it all up was really making Corinne “very, very sad indeed.”
As she had lived with significant knee pain for most of her adult life – mostly managed by using painkillers and inflammatory medications – this was becoming reality as the misery of constant discomfort in her knee started to outweigh the joy she felt when dancing.
Following a fall as a child, Corinne had always suffered from a painful knee, even being advised to wear callipers whilst at school, to keep her leg straight. However, this served only to reduce muscle strength in her affected leg and by the age of 25, she had told her only option was knee replacement surgery – something which she has determinedly avoided ever since.
Corinne just ‘learnt to live with the pain.’ Over the course of many years, she tried various injections (e.g. steroid, cortisone, hyaluronic acid) – but nothing ever really worked, certainly not for any length of time.
Undeterred, when Corinne reached the age of 60, she and her partner Peter decided to take up ballroom and Latin dancing, “initially just as a fun hobby we could both do together”, Corinne explains. However, it did not take long for dance to step up into more than a weekly pastime! They would quickly ‘hot-footed’ it to private lessons and several social dances a week – and before they knew it, Corinne and Peter were taking part (and winning) competitions across the UK and the world!
Unfortunately, though, this level of stress and ‘wear and tear’ on Corinne’s already vulnerable knee was starting to take its toll. Plagued with severe osteoarthritis in her right knee, dancing was becoming incredibly difficult and painful and even everyday activities such as going out for a walk or popping to the shops with Peter were a struggle and something that Corinne would often avoid.
“I was beginning to rely on an elbow crutch which I hated as it made me feel old and self-conscious, so instead, I’d just opt to stay at home. I really feared I’d end up housebound. I’d even told Peter to carry on dancing without me and to find a new partner for competitions but he wouldn’t hear of it.”
It was during an afternoon at home when Corinne was reading a magazine when she came across an article on the health pages about a hydrogel-based injection called Arthrosamid®, which had long lasting benefits on the pain caused by knee osteoarthritis. She showed the article to Peter who immediately said; “we’ve got to give this a go...”
Some background research led them to Mr. Andrew Pearse, a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon based at the SO Knee Clinic in Worcestershire. After an initial consultation – and sharing the results of a recent MRI scan – Mr. Pearse quickly confirmed that Corinne would be an eligible patient for Arthrosamid® injection (in fact, he said the condition of Corinne’s knee and cartilage was ‘one of the most damaged he’d seen’).
So, on September 30, Corinne and Peter travelled to Mr. Pearse’s Worcester clinic, where the procedure took place. “It was quick and painless and I watched the injection live on the screen – there was a very slight feeling of pressure as the gel was inserted and Mr. Pearse joked that I clearly had a good pain threshold, but I honestly didn’t really feel a thing.
[Corinne] says: Arthrosamid really has changed everything – and I haven’t looked back since the day I had my treatment. It’s brought me back from the brink of having to give up dancing....and now, as they say, I have every confidence that I’ll be able to.....’keep dancing!!’”
Most importantly, I could pretty much feel the benefits the following day and overall, I’d say there’s at least a 50% improvement on the pain I’d experienced before the treatment. I’ve been told to expect further improvements as the gel continues to ‘settle’ and should I ever need a follow-up treatment in the future, then I wouldn’t hesitate.”
Mr Pearse comments;
“I am delighted to hear that Corinne has experienced such a significant improvement in her knee symptoms. The speed of the response has been particularly satisfying. She was very clear about her motivations for treatment and Arthrosamid gave her a choice.
Arthrosamid is a new and exciting option for active patients with knee arthritis and we still have a lot to learn about its potential. However cases like Corinne’s are exactly what encourages us as treating physicians to take it very seriously in our armament for treating this common and debilitating condition.
We hope that Corinne and Peter can continue to keep doing what they love, and clearly have a real talent for, for many years to come!”
As if any further ‘proof’ of the success of Corinne’s Arthrosamid’s injection is needed, she wraps up her story with the news that just three weeks after the procedure, she and Peter were named [pre-amateur] Latin American Champions, competing against several other couples aged 35 and over (the so-called ‘Senior’ category!) at Southwest regional final held in Bristol.