Am­putee Gane warns risks of surgery may out­weigh ben­e­fits

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - By Gareth A Davies PAR­A­LYMPICS COR­RE­SPON­DENT

Jamie Gane can re­late to the ag­o­nis­ing dilemma that Ge­orge Bates is fac­ing. The ju­doka is reg­is­tered dis­abled and suf­fered from com­plex re­gional pain syn­drome, the

same con­di­tion as Bates, the Great Bri­tain wheel­chair bas­ket­ball player.

Gane went ahead with an am­pu­ta­tion to help ease the pain from the con­di­tion. It has changed his life, but Gane, 26, yes­ter­day warned against the risks.

Gane had CRPS from the age of nine to 22, to which point he was not clas­si­fi­able as an ath­lete el­i­gi­ble for dis­abled sport.

Hav­ing un­der­gone the process of am­pu­ta­tion, which started four years ago, he is now a lower-limb am­putee ranked No2 in the world in judo. It was a long process. Af­ter three op­er­a­tions, Gane now has a lower-limb pros­thetic leg.

“I was a wheel­chair user un­til I was 14, I had it done and now I can walk,” Gane said yes­ter­day. “It took three surg­eries to get my stump right. It’s com­plex, a long old jour­ney. I wouldn’t wish it as an un­nec­es­sary jour­ney on any­one. But if it works, then great.”

Ini­tially, Gane had wanted to com­pete in­ter­na­tion­ally for GB as a field ath­lete, at shot, dis­cus and javelin, but was not per­mit­ted to as an ath­lete with CRPS.

“You were not clas­si­fi­able as a

field ath­lete while you had CRPS, so I was un­able to de­velop that area and now, post-am­pu­ta­tion, I’m busy with other sports – judo and ob­sta­cle rac­ing,” he said.

“To am­pu­tate purely to be clas­si­fied is not as sim­ple as it ap­pears. There is a huge risk of the pain trans­fer­ring to the stump. It took me six years to am­pu­tate it in the first place, and per­suade the doc­tors to let me do it.

“Do I sup­port it purely to get into the Par­a­lympics? If it’s your only way of com­pet­ing, it’s a shame. But it is a mas­sive risk. He [Bates] could be in even more pain. Re­al­is­ti­cally, he’s go­ing to find it re­ally dif­fi­cult to find a doc­tor who will do it purely for him to be clas­si­fied in a sport.

“To get rid of the pain is great, but it is a mas­sive risk be­cause it could in­crease.”

Gane is hop­ing that am­putee judo will be in­cluded in the Par­a­lympic Games in the fu­ture. At present, only par­tially-sighted judo is per­mit­ted.

Long jour­ney: Jamie Gane is ranked No 2 in the world in judo af­ter his am­pu­ta­tion

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