Axminster star thriving after groundbreaking surgery

Lauren Struszczak

Lauren Struszczak - Credit: Archant

Axminster Town Ladies midfielder Lauren Struszczak has come through groundbreaking knee surgery to resume her football dreams.  
Lauren suffered from such a severe knee problem that she required a meniscal transplant from knee surgeon Neil Bradbury. 
The revolutionary technique has allowed Lauren to get back out on the pitch for the Tigers. 
"I’ve played football since I was eight years-old and consistently played through my teenage years, and on to University,” said Lauren. 
“It’s been a really big part of my life but around six years ago, I tore my cruciate ligament and did some damage to my meniscus. 
“I had that repaired successfully and went back to playing football to quite a high standard. 
“Unfortunately, I then suffered another injury to the meniscus, which is when I first saw Dr Neil Bradbury. 
“Before my operation, the knee was quite painful. It would wake me up at night and just felt quite unstable, crunchy and would often lock.  
“Neil was aware that I really enjoyed physical activity, really enjoyed my sport and not being able to play football was having a real impact on the quality of my life. 
“He suggested a groundbreaking surgery, which involved transplanting a meniscus from somebody else into my knee.” 
Dr Bradbury added: “The aim of a meniscal transplant is to put back a shock absorber, which does the job of protecting the weight-bearing surface. 
“For young patients with early degenerative problems in their joints, we couldn’t really do much for them but we now have a biological solution.” 
Lauren said: “After the operation, it was eight weeks on crutches and not putting any weight on the injured leg. 
“I then gradually had to build up strength in the knee and to get back to football, it was around 18 months. 
“I had to be really patient but it was definitely worth it and my knee is now great. I’m back to playing in centre midfield for Axminster Town and I can play the full 90 minutes without it causing me a problem. 
“I’m really happy with my progress.”