Interview with Pippa Bennett

(Published in BASEM Today, Issue 11, Winter 2008, 
Title: China At Our Feet: Behind the scenes of the 2007 FIFA Women's Football World Cup)

Peter Hunt (PH), Managing Director of TRB Chemedica, puts Dr Pippa Bennett (PB) under the spotlight and asks: What made you decide to take Ostenil in your treatment bag to the World Cup? 

Pippa Bennett

Pippa Bennett

PH: How long have you been the medic for the England women's Football Team?

PB: I have worked with the Football Association for eight years coordinating the care of all female squads (seniors, U23s, U19s, U17s and U15s).

PH: Have you been involved in any other sports?

PB: I have worked with England hockey and at the World University Games 2005.

PH: What are the most common ailments that present in the England Women's football team?

PB: The most common problems are lower limb injuries. We currently have five senior team members who have had ACL reconstructions. ACL tears are between two and six times more common in the women's game.

PH: Do you see much early trauma - induced joint degeneration in female players, as is reported with male football and rugby players?

PB: Unfortunately we do see osteoarthritic changes at a young age and the evidence seems to suggest (Lohmander et al) that this will occur irrespective of whether a knee has an ACL reconstructed or not. To play top level football we would always reconstruct but counsel the player on the longer term health of the knee.

PH: What factors would determine whether you used a corticosteroid or Ostenil?

PB: I have used Ostenil to good effect in just these knees. I am always reluctant to use corticosteroids and will only do so for specific individual indications.

PH: Have you had occasion to use Ostenil in smaller joints and what was the outcome?

PB: I have not used Ostenil in smaller joints or upper limbs.

PH: How many Ostenil injections would you normally use to treat a mild to moderately degenerative knee?

PB: I would normally aim for three injections, a week apart.

PH: What made you decide to take Ostenil in your treatment bag to the World Cup?

PB: We had three particular players who I envisaged my have needed Ostenil in the build up to the World Cup.

PH: Under what circumstances have you used it before?

PB: We used Ostenil for two players last year, again with early OA changes in their knee. They were also both in the World Cup squad.

PH: You recently used Ostenil on one of the Women's Football team World Cup squad, what made you decide on this course of treatment? How would you describe the results?

PB: We ended up only having to inject one player. As an adjunct to her rehab, physio, etc, I do believe the Ostenil helped and she has been symptom free since the World Cup.

Dr Pippa Bennett
Pippa is currently Chief Medical Officer to the England Woment's Football Teams. She oversees the medical care of all international players. Pippa previously worked with England Women's Hockey. She greaduated from Leeds Unviersity Medical School and completed her Masters in Sport and Exercise Medicine at Bath Unviersity. She was a partner in General Practice for five years before leaving to pursue a career in Sport and Exercise Medicine.

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