Alex Scott, 36, speaks out about osteoarthritis diagnosis amid chronic pain ordeal

Alex Scott discusses experience with 'serious' injury

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BBC sports presenter Alex Scott, 36, has now opened up about her shock diagnosis with osteoarthritis when she was in her mid-twenties. Speaking to Express.co.uk, the former Arsenal footballer told how she sustained the “serious injury” that led to her being diagnosed with the incurable bone condition, which she now manages on a day to day basis.

I was in chronic pain and now you’re sitting there telling me I have osteoarthritis?

Alex Scott

The star, who recently covered the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games for the BBC, told how the injury occurred after she signed for the Boston Breakers.

She said: “In America we trained as we played, so everything was quick and tackles were often hard.

“One of my team put in a slide-tackle on me and rolled my ankle. As soon as it happened I knew it was a serious injury.

“My biggest fear at the time was, ‘Will I be able to play in the World Cup?'” she added.

She went on to reveal that the injury led to her being diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both her ankles.

“I was in chronic pain and now you’re sitting there telling me I have osteoarthritis?” she said.

“Arthritis? I’m in my twenties – I haven’t got arthritis!” Alex recalled saying.

Coming to terms with her diagnosis, she explained: “You have an image of that, you don’t think about long term, it’s like this big, fancy word, ‘osteoarthritis’. I’m like, ‘OK, how do I get onto the pitch on Sunday? Just tell me that.'”

“I’ve now got to live with this problem and manage it for the rest of my career.

“And not only my career, what’s after my career – my life.

“I have never really spoken about it, it was never going to stop me doing what I wanted to do, what I wanted to achieve.”

The former athlete went on to add that her diagnosis of osteoarthritis had nothing to do with her decision to retire in 2017, explaining that she wanted to start a new chapter of her sporting career.

“I’ve never let osteoarthritis define anything I wanted to do,” Alex candidly admitted.

“My decision to retire came down to me feeling like the time was right to try something new.

“I knew I wanted to go into broadcasting and was keen to start that next chapter,” she finished.

Osteoarthritis is a condition that causes joints to become stiff, swollen and tender and symptoms vary from person to person.

Speaking about her diagnosis, Alex said that her mindset made it easier to deal with.

She said: “I like to think of myself as a positive person. My diagnosis was just something else I had to manage and overcome.

“I probably didn’t quite understand what osteoarthritis was when I was first diagnosed so I just kept going. If anything, adversity makes me more determined to prove I can do something.”

Alex Scott has partnered with FlexiSEQ to encourage those living with joint pain and osteoarthritis to #SayYesToLife

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