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Completely pain free thanks to pioneering new treatment using Botox-like injection

STRICT EMBARGO: 20:00hrs Monday 22 February 2016

Fortius Clinic specialists lead pioneering research into
chronic knee pain using Botox-like treatment
- First research in UK injecting Dysport into the hip to treat chronic knee pain (1)
- Almost 70% patients reported complete pain relief and required no further intervention after 5 years (2)
- Top athletes like rugby pro Andy Goode able to compete again following successful treatment at Fortius

[London, 22 February 2016]:- Research results from a pioneering new treatment for chronic knee pain led by Fortius Clinic in collaboration with Imperial College, have been published today in the American Journal of Sports Medicine. Almost 70% of patients reported complete pain relief and required no further intervention at five years(3). This type of chronic knee pain, lateral patellofemoral overload syndrome (LPOS), is believed to affect up to one in five of the active population and can be caused by under-use of the buttock muscles (gluteal) and over-use of the hip muscles (tensor fascia lata)(4). Symptoms include inflammation and a sharp localised pain which can take many days to recover from.
“This is the first trial of its kind in the UK and has proved that treatment with botulinum toxin can provide better and longer lasting pain relief than conventional therapies. One injection and a few weeks of physiotherapy will see nearly seven out of ten sportsmen and women with this knee condition return to an active life, free from pain”, said Mr Sam Church, Consultant Knee Surgeon, Fortius Clinic, London.
The study involved injecting Dysport, a type of botulinum toxin, into the hip muscle to “switch it off” for 12 weeks, so the buttock muscles (glutes) were forced to work harder and thus enable physiotherapy to have a greater effect on the affected knee area. Patients involved in the study underwent at least six weeks of personalised physiotherapy treatment, following the initial injection.
“Many of the patients enrolled in our study had exhausted all other treatment options and this was their last resort. By “switching off” the hip muscle, the effects of physiotherapy on the glutes and knee were greatly enhanced following a single injection of a type of botulinum toxin,” explained researcher Dr Joanna Stephen, lead author of the study, Fortius Clinic and Imperial College. “This is good news for people who take part in sporting activities, like the thousands running in this year’s London Marathon”.
Andy Goode, former England rugby professional, has come out of retirement to play for Newcastle Falcons explained: “I had the injection treatment at Fortius two years ago when I had chronic knee pain mid-season and it enabled me to carry on playing week-in week-out, without pain. I retired from professional rugby because of shoulder and knee injuries and thought my rugby days were over forever. But when I got offered a fantastic opportunity of playing for Newcastle, I knew this treatment was my only chance. I returned to my knee specialist, Mr Church at Fortius, and now I’m back in the game and winning big points for the Newcastle Falcons”.

(1) Like Botox, Dysport is a type of botulinum toxin, Type A
(2) American Journal of Sports Medicine, Feb 2016 ( – The use of sonographically-guided botulinum toxin Type A (Dysport) injection into the tensor fascia lata for the treatment of lateral paellofemoral overload syndrome”
(3) Case studies available for interview, see Appendix A
(4) Chinese Journal of Traumatology 2003

Preliminary investigations had shown that the patients displayed a weakness in their buttock (gluteal) muscles and had long-standing pain. To compensate for this weakness, more effort was being placed on the muscles at the front and side of the hip. This imbalance at the hip in turn altered the loading at the knee, which created persistent pain brought on by activity. Symptoms included pain at the front or on the outside of the knee which manifests during activity. Up to 80% of this population continued to have symptoms five years after conventional (physiotherapy and steroids) treatment (5).
# Ends #

Notes to Editor:
- The research of 45 adults from across the UK started seven years ago at Fortius Clinic and was in conjunction with Imperial College, London.
- Lateral patellofemoral overload syndrome (LPOS) affects people from a host of sporting activities including running, cycling, horse riding, football, tennis, rugby, gym work outs and many others.
- LPOS is known to affect more female athletes (1 in 5) than male athletes (1 in 8) but the cause is not yet defined.

Case studies available:
- Andy Goode, former England rugby player back out of retirement and now with Newcastle Falcons.
- Laura Milesi, 34 year old Italian female, triathlete and successful banker, London.
- For comment: Mr Sam Church, Consultant Knee Surgeon, Fortius Clinic, London.
- For comment: Dr Joanna Stephen, honorary research fellow, Fortius Clinic & Imperial College.

Press Contacts at the Fortius Clinic Press Office:
T: +44 (0) 203 195 2434
M: 07836 553 507
M: 07799 898 798

About Fortius Clinic:
Fortius Clinic is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Fortius Group Limited, the UK’s largest single orthopaedic and sports injury medicine group in the UK. Home to over 50 leading specialists, we are dedicated to providing innovative and long-term solutions to patients with a range of musculoskeletal conditions, both surgical and non-surgical. Since opening in 2011, the company has established an international reputation for medical expertise and quality of care. Fortius Clinic has become the centre of choice for many international sports clubs and elite teams and is an accredited FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence.

For further information on our expert team of specialists and the full range of diagnostic and treatment services available, please visit the Fortius website

(5) Davis IS, Powers CM. Patellofemoral pain syndrome: proximal, distal and local factors, an international retreat, April 30-May 2, 2009, Fells PoInt, Baltimore, MD. J Ortho Sports Phys Ther. 2010;40(3):A1-A16

About Imperial College London:
Imperial College London is one of the world's leading universities. The College's 14,000 students and 7,500 staff are expanding the frontiers of knowledge in science, medicine, engineering and business, and translating their discoveries into benefits for society.

Founded in 1907, Imperial builds on a distinguished past - having pioneered penicillin, holography and fibre optics - to shape the future. Imperial researchers work across disciplines to improve global health, tackle climate change, develop sustainable energy technology and address security challenges. This blend of academic excellence and its real-world application feeds into Imperial's exceptional learning environment, where students participate in research to push the limits of their degrees.

Imperial nurtures a dynamic enterprise culture, where collaborations with industrial, healthcare and international partners are the norm. In 2007, Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust formed the UK's first Academic Health Science Centre. This unique partnership aims to improve the quality of life of patients and populations by taking new discoveries and translating them into new therapies as quickly as possible.

Imperial has nine London campuses, including its White City Campus: a 25 acre research and innovation centre in west London. At White City, researchers, businesses and higher education partners are co-locating to create value from ideas on a global scale.