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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 March, 2004, 09:21 GMT
New knee could cut years of pain
Steven Riches
Steven Riches now walks without any sign of a limp
An Essex businessman has been fitted with a new type of knee joint which could provide early relief to thousands of fellow-sufferers.

Steven Riches, 53, from Chelmsford, had the new kind of replacement joint after decades of pain caused by an old football injury.

The implants are made from Oxinium, a new metal so strong it does not wear out after the customary 10 to 15 years.

It means patients can be operated on at a much younger age.

Mr Riches said the operation has transformed his life - even allowing him to walk the Great Wall of China.

"Now I walk without any form of limp, and I found myself driving again after the operation in a little under two weeks," said Mr Riches, who was one of the first patients in the country to have this new-style operation.

Before the surgery he could barely walk 200 yards and at 53 he would normally have been encouraged to delay having the operation because of the limited lifespan of the old-style replacement joints.

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