The Vatican has called upon the head doctor at Spanish football club Atletico Madrid to treat Pope Francis’ knee injury.
Orthopedic surgeon and traumatologist José Mara Villalón revealed to the Spanish radio station COPE that he traveled with other doctors to treat Pope Francis.
“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 said.
“We see him in a wheelchair; let’s see if we can help him improve his mobility and slow his arthritic process.”
Due to problems in his right knee, Pope Francis has been spotted using a wheelchair and a walking stick frequently.
The 85-year-old postponed a trip to the DRC and South Sudan earlier this year after his health professionals warned him that if he didn’t agree to 20 more days of rest and therapy for his right knee, he could also have to forgo a subsequent trip to Canada.
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Pope Francis first addressed the ailment in a July interview with Reuters. He stated that he had an inflamed ligament and “a tiny fracture” in his knee when he took a misstep.
Villalón said that Pope Francis is suffering from an “arthritic process which is affecting various joints.”
In addition, he said, “Sometimes, it starts in a joint with arthritis and other joints worsen because they carry more load than normal. And he’s looking to slow down that process and that it doesn’t worsen.”
Villalón explained that he was “nervous” before meeting Pope Francis; because “it’s a responsibility for a world figure to be in shape physically”. He also added that his 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.
Villalón described Pope Francis as having a “great personality, he’s very good, very lucid psychologically. He’s a very thankful person, very kind and he likes football.”
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