Pope Benedict is reported to have arthrosis and, for this reason, asked to use the mobile platform once used by John Paul II in the last years of his life, says our Rome Correspondent, Gerry O'Connell.
News about the pontiff’s health was broken last week by Andrea Tornielli, the leading Italian journalist on the Vatican. Writing in Vatican Insider, he named the pope’s ailment and also revealed that it was the pope – not the doctors – who asked to use the mobile platform.
It’s obvious the 84 year old pope has a mobility problem with his right leg: he tends to drag it along. This was evident at World Youth Day in Madrid, where he was seen to use a white walking stick, which he also frequently in his private apartment.
Arthrosis is “a degenerative, non-inflammatory joint disease”, according to medical sources. It affects the vertebral joints, including hip-, knee-, ankle-, and shoulder joints. More than 20 million Germans suffer from this. Unspecific joint pain is usually an indication of the presence of arthrosis, since the friction of the joint surfaces increases by overexertion and the shock absorbing function diminishes. Movement is possible, but restricted, and usually painful. Long travel is a problem.