Pope Francis compelled to use wheelchair due to chronic knee pain

This is the second time the Pope has been seen in public with a wheelchair

Pope Francis arrives on wheelchair during the audience to the Participants to Plenary Assembly of the International Union of Superiors General in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican, on May 5, 2022. (Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images)

A flare-up of sciatica, a nerve condition on his knee has compelled Pope Francis to use a wheelchair. The 85-year-old appeared before a group of nuns and religious superiors at the Vatican.

This is the second time the Pope has been pictured in a wheelchair after he was seen leaving Rome’s Gemelli University Hospital in July 2021 when he underwent a surgery for an inflamed large colon.

The Pope has had to cancel or cut short activities several times in the last month because of pain in his right knee. During his recent public appearances, he has apologized for being unable to stand and walk to greet participants.

During an April 2-3 2022 visit to Malta, extra measures were taken to ensure that the Pope would not have to take stairs, due to his knee problem.

A special lift was also installed at the Basilica of St. Paul in Rabat to enable Pope Francis to visit and pray in the crypt grotto, a cherished Catholic pilgrimage spot on the Mediterranean island country.

The trip to Malta was Pope Francis’ first papal trip of 2022. A February trip to Florence was canceled on account of his knee problems.

The Pope himself has also spoken of an injured ligament in his knee. He told Italian daily Corriere della Sera in an interview published on Tuesday that he would undergo an "intervention with infiltration."

He said doctors have told him they will be giving him an injection to help the movement of his joints. It is not clear if that therapy has begun.

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