United gave me wrong treatment -- Hargreaves
owen hargreaves has claimed Manchester United prescribed the wrong treatment for his knee condition and reduced him to feeling that he was "made out of glass" before he left the club to rebuild his career at Man City.
Hargreaves said he had sought medical opinion since leaving Old Trafford which had told him that prolotherapy injections used on his knees were "absolutely" the wrong treatment.
The treatment, which involves injecting glucose into the ligaments to stimulate the growth of new fibres, had "side effects" which made his knee tendons "significantly worse", said Hargreaves, who admitted the course of treatment was embarked upon at a time when he, United and England were desperate to see him back playing.
Hargreaves eventually underwent surgery on his left knee in November 2008 after a scan by Colorado specialist Richard Steadman detected dead tissue.
After two months' recovery time, Steadman operated on the right knee the following January.
"They (United's medical staff) said it (prolotherapy treatment) would help and that I wouldn't have any side effects," Hargreaves said.
"That obviously wasn't the case and if I'd known I could have had a reaction like that, I wouldn't have done it."
Asked if he felt he had received medical opinion which confirmed his view that prolotherapy was not the right course of treatment, Hargreaves said: "Absolutely, yes. With my tendon injury, I've had to be a guinea pig for a lot of these treatments... probably the injections I had, I should probably not have had."
But Hargreaves did admit that the course of treatment, which Rio Ferdinand has also undergone as a last resort to resolve persistent and chronic back trouble, was embarked upon at a time when other solutions had failed.
After playing for England against the United States at Wembley in May 2008, Hargreaves prepared for an early return to United a week ahead of pre-season to embark on the treatment.
"I received some injections and after that my tendon was never the same," Hargreaves said. "After the injections, I tried to get back on my feet and they said my tendon was good, but it felt like I was made out of glass."
The 30-year-old claimed that he had started United's home game with Wolves last November despite telling the club's staff that he was carrying two muscle injuries.
"I should have never been in that position to start with, but it was difficult," he said. "I wanted to play, they wanted me to play."
United said last night that they would not be responding to Hargreaves' comments. (© Independent News Service)