Pam St Clement health: EastEnders star on her ‘year from hell’ with ‘disgusting’ illness

Barbara Windsor: Pam St Clement pays tribute to friend

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Apart from starring in the BBC soap, St Clement appeared in multiple episodes of Casualty as “grumpy patient” Sally Hodge as well as taking part in a road trip across America, which saw five celebrities explore the medicinal benefits of cannabis and how the UK would be affected if it were ever legalised. Following her trip around America, St Clement suffered from a severe leg injury and quickly turned to using CBD oil and allopathic medicine in order to try and relieve some of her pain.

Talking about her leg injury during an appearance on Loose Women back in 2019, St Clement said: “[It’s been] a year from hell.

“I did my usual trip to Australia – I go there for a couple of months every year – and idiot that I am I planned my knee replacement for after I came back.

“I was out and it was the tail end of a typhoon and I was messing about with a seven-year-old, and I feel, cut my leg open. It was disgusting, it really was.

“And would you believe it. The one part of my fat body which hasn’t gone any flesh on it is my shin bone, and it was straight across the shin bone.”

Although the star was in dire need of a knee replacement, the nasty shin injury meant that the operation would have been too dangerous to complete in case of cross-infection.

Overall, St Clement had to cancel three knee replacements and tell prospective employers that she couldn’t work for the remaining part of the year.

“I came home, saw the surgeon and he said I can’t do anything with that because of infection, although it’s not the same leg it’s cross infection which is deadly dangerous,” the star added.

“So he said we’ll have to wait and see how quickly it heals. I’ve had to cancel [my knee operation] three times.

“What’s happened is if I have [work] offered, I go, ‘I can do it that date because I’m having the operation there so it will give me time to get over.’

“Ah no I’ve had to cancel it again. So things I could have done before I could have, it’s been absolute hell.”

Along with not being able to do much work, St Clement has had to deal with ongoing pain from both her knee and shin injury, leading her to try alternative methods of medication.

“I deal with it by using allopathic medicine and alternative medicine,” she said.

“Well I deal with it I use allopathic medicine and alternative medicine. I’ve had three steroid jabs so far. [Taking CBD oil] I’ve been relying on it quite a bit, and in fact, I couldn’t take it in Australia.

“I’ve been able to ease off the painkillers and put the CBD in its place. The plant grows with both constituents, but the plant grows in a natural state as people would have grown it back in the 60s. What is being produced and sold on streets nowadays is just ugh – it’s’ nothing like the same.”

This was not the first time St Clement has spoken about the benefits of CBD, as back in 2017 she told The Sunday Mirror: “Taking this oil has changed my life. I am no longer in pain.

“My joints are no longer stiff, I sleep better, almost jump out of bed and walk longer distances – all things I could never have dreamed six weeks ago.

“I have suffered with polymyalgia rheumatica for the past 10 years. I just woke up with it one day.”

The Mayo Clinic explains that polymyalgia rheumatica is an inflammatory disorder that causes muscle pain and stiffness. Although most common in the shoulders or hips, pain can also affect the knees.

As well as aches, pains and stiffness, individuals may also experience:

  • Mild fever
  • Fatigue
  • A general feeling of not being well (malaise)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Depression.

In some of the worst cases, knee replacement surgery is used to replace a damaged, worn or diseased knee with an artificial joint. There are two main types of surgery: total knee replacement – both sides of your knee joint are replaced and partial (half) knee replacement – where only one side of your joint is replaced in a smaller operation with a shorter hospital stay and recovery period.

For those with polymyalgia rheumatica and individuals who have had a knee replacement, physical therapy may be recommended to build strength and increase mobility.

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