Amputee Gane warns risks of surgery may outweigh benefits
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