A new lease of life

A unique knee brace is helping chef Stuart Ford continue to cook up a storm at work

Stuart Ford enjoys his career as a chef, but there was a time when knee pain threatened his job. The 53-year-old, who spends hours on his feet as head chef at a restaurant in Newquay, Cornwall, says: “When I was younger it was no problem, and I used to play football, squash and golf. But osteoarthritis runs in my family and by the age of 30 my right knee was giving me a lot of pain.”

Two sessions of surgery and a series of injections solved the problem for several years, but then the pain returned.

“A new round of injections did not work, and the next option was partial knee replacement,” he says.

“However, my doctor advised delaying it as long as possible, because long hours on my feet meant that the new joint would wear out quickly, so I would soon need another operation. It began to look as if I would have to give up my job.”

Ford did not want that. “I never intend to be unemployed. I’d go crazy sitting at home all the time,” he says.

Then he was referred to a physiotherapist who recommended the Össur Unloader One knee brace. “From the moment it was fitted it reduced my pain,” he says.

“It takes about ten seconds to put on, it’s comfortable to wear and invisible under trousers. It will not cure my osteoarthritis, but it has reduced the pain so much that I can still work. I’m sure I’d have had to give up my job without it.”

Ford is even considering returning to the sport he had previously been forced to give up. “I had a few practice swings with my golf clubs recently,” he says. “Soon I’m going to try to get back into the game.”

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