Atlético Madrid doctor called upon to treat Pope Francis’ injury
During an interview with Reuters in July, Pope Francis - for the first time - dismissed rumours that he had cancer, revealing that he had suffered "a small fracture" in the knee when he took a misstep while a ligament was inflamed.
In July this year, Pope Francis was supposed to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, but he had to cancel the trip.
Doctors at the time told him that he might miss a trip to Canada from July 24-30 unless he agreed to have 20 more days of therapy and rest for his right knee.
While acknowledging that the decision to cancel the trip to Africa caused him "much suffering", particularly because he wanted to promote peace in both countries, the Pope said that it was inevitable.
During an interview with Reuters at the time, the Pope - for the first time - dismissed rumours that he had cancer, revealing that he had suffered "a small fracture" in the knee when he took a misstep while a ligament was inflamed.
Since May this year, the 85-year-old Pope has been seen using a walking stick or sometimes in a wheelchair.
Doctors called up
The Vatican has now called up a group of doctors to work on the Pope's knee, with the hope of improving his mobility.
Atlético Madrid head of doctors José María Villalón is part of the team that travelled to Vatican to treat the Pope. He is a specialist in orthopedic surgery and traumatology.
“Both from the Episcopal Conference and the Apostolic Nunciature of the Vatican in Spain, they requested that a group of specialists go help the Pope with the situation that he’s experiencing,” Villalón told Spanish radio station COPE. “We see him in a wheelchair and let’s see if we can help him improve his mobility and slow his arthritic process.”
Villalón says that arthritic process sometimes starts in a joint with arthritis and other joints worsen because they carry more load than normal. The Pope is looking to slow down that process so that it it doesn’t worsen.
At first, Villalón says that he was nervous because “it’s a responsibility for a world figure to be in shape physically.” He says that the Pope's busy schedule adds to the difficulty in treating his injury.
“We have the handicap that he isn’t a normal patient due to his great activeness. Possibly, the Pope has it more difficult because his schedule is so complicated, but I’m an optimist. We can help the Pope; he helps us with everything else, but we’ll at least be able to advise the doctors who are there on a day-to-day basis with him.”
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