Dancing On Ice star Colin Jackson will have stem cell jabs ‘to save me from a wheelchair’ as the ex-Olympic hurdler reveals he has the knees of a man in his 80s
- The former 110-metre champion has severely damaged knees after his career
- He will begin stem cell treatment in a final bid to avoid having knee replacement
- The 53-year-old Welsh legend takes painkillers every time he has to skate
- He will undergo the first part of his £25,000 of stem cell treatment on Monday
Dancing On Ice star Colin Jackson is to undergo revolutionary stem cell treatment for crippling leg injuries, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
The two-time, 110-metre hurdles world champion was left with severely damaged knees following his lengthy track career and will begin therapy this week in a final bid to avoid replacement surgery.
The 53-year-old has to take painkillers before every skate.
Welsh athletics legend Colin Jackson, pictured, needs to take painkillers everytime he wants to perform on Dancing on Ice due to the damage caused during his long sporting career
Jackson, pictured here in Tokyo powering over a hurdle said he has the body of a man in his 30s and the knees of someone in their 80s
Despite the damage, he continues to perform on Dancing on Ice, though he is preparing to undergo revolutionary stem cell treatment
‘I’m in constant pain but you learn to live with it,’ he said. ‘I’ve got the body of a man in his mid-30s but the knees of a man in his mid-80s.
‘I’ve had seven operations on my knees already – four on the right knee and three on the left – and I can’t face any more.
‘Stem cell therapy is definitely the last roll of the dice to avoid knee-replacement surgery somewhere down the line. I’m praying for a miracle because I don’t want to end up in a wheelchair or with artificial knees.’
Jackson, who was runner-up in the 2005 series of Strictly Come Dancing, added: ‘I don’t believe my knees will hamper my progress on the show. I’m in pain every day whether I’m on the show or not.
‘My knees lock up after long car journeys and getting in and out of the bath can get awkward, but once I get going I can still compete and that is everything to me.’ But his family was less keen. ‘My sister has made me promise this is the last time I do a show like this,’ he added.
The former Olympic silver medallist and BBC athletics commentator, who also suffers severe lower back pain, is set to have one million stem cells injected into each knee and more delivered via an IV drip.
A preliminary session for the £25,000 course of treatment will take place at Harley Street Stem Cell Clinic in Central London.
While there is evidence that stem cell treatments can trigger damaged tissues in the body to repair themselves, there is debate about just how beneficial it is.
But Jackson is hopeful it will improve his life. ‘Every morning for me now I’m in some type of pain with my knees. On a good day the pain level is three out of ten, but on a bad day it’s ten out of ten.
‘I must be completely mad to be doing Dancing On Ice – but I still go to the gym and do yoga and Pilates because I don’t want to give in to it.
‘I want to be able to walk down the street. So the stem cell therapy is an amazing opportunity for me to get my body replenished.’
Jackson, who announced in 2017 that he was gay but has chosen to skate with an opposite-sex partner, said: ‘I’m not a fool. I’m not going to be like I was at 21 but if I can get ten per cent better that is a huge, huge amount of pain relief.’
Specialist Dr Aamer Khan, who is treating him, said: ‘Stem cell technology can be used to help people with relentless conditions that leave them struggling on a day-to-day basis.
‘Colin’s condition will get worse if untreated. Joint replacement is a real possibility if the stem cell therapy doesn’t work.’