Diego Maradona’s surgeon has said the football legend needs to have artificial knees if he is to carry on walking.
German Ochoa confirmed the retired player has severe arthritis in both knees after footage emerged of him struggling across a training pitch – and said knee replacement surgery is the only long-term option.
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The Colombian medic operated on the 58-year-old in 2004 and saw him again before the World Cup when he injected a gel-like fluid into his knee joints to ease his pain.
He told Argentinian news website Todo Noticias after a video of Diego struggling to walk with the help of right-hand man Luis Campos at the training ground of the Mexican second division club he now manages: ‘Maradona has severe arthritis in both his knees and has no cartilage left.
‘The bones rub together. It’s a serious problem because it causes him a lot of pain and swelling and makes it difficult for him to move.
‘Maradona knows the solution is an operation and prosthesis in both knees.
‘He has to take a decision on knee replacement surgery in the short or medium term.
‘There is no solution for arthritis. It leads to a total and progressive destruction of the cartilage and if it’s not dealt with, it gets worse. That’s why knee replacement surgery is needed.
‘Diego won’t be left unable to walk, it’s not going to get to that stage. Technological advances means there are solutions nowadays.
‘But the most intelligent way of reaching a solution is to operate on his knees. First one and then the other. Diego knows it because we’ve spoken about it many times.’