A TV adventurer left in agonising pain after a climbing accident credits a new treatment available from the Wiltshire Knee Clinic with changing his life.

Steve Backshall broke his back in two places and shattered his left ankle after falling 30ft onto rocks 13 years ago. The 48-year-old had 11 operations but still struggled to resume expeditions as the pressure on his right knee kept causing it to fail.

He said: "I was in constant chronic pain, which we eventually identified as osteoarthritis – it was a bit of a shock and not something I wanted to admit to myself.

"I have a life where I need to be making the first ascents of mountains in the middle of nowhere and I need to have a functioning body.”

Not wanting to take high doses of anti-inflammatories or repeated steroid injections, Steve tried to manage the debilitating pain through sheer grit and determination, even during some demanding expeditions.

He added: “I was just gritting my teeth, getting through it. Anyone who has had chronic pain will know that it changes your life, your outlook and your mentality.

"It’s much harder to find the energy and enthusiasm to get out and do the things that you would normally do. As expedition leader, you’re the one who has to be driving things forward in a positive way.

"The last thing you want is to be focusing too much on yourself, and chronic pain makes you do that. You look at scans of my knee and it really doesn't look that bad, yet there were days when I could barely walk up the stairs,”

Becoming a father brought home to Steve the need to admit and address his condition. He and his Olympic rower wife Helen Glover have three-year-old son Logan and 19-month-old twins Kit and Willow.

The environmentalist tried a unique biological treatment recommended by his orthopaedic surgeon which is known as nSTRIDE APS and developed by Zimmer Biomet. It uses extracts from his own blood to treat the cause of his osteoarthritis and the pain it created.

Steve added: “Having three young kids can be surprisingly physical, whether it's picking the youngsters up out of the cots or playing football in the garden. Those are all things that were limited by my knee pain.

“Being able to get over that is huge because these are moments that I’ll never get back. And wouldn't it be awful if I look back in 10 or 15 years’ time and I never ran around playing rugby because I had this ache in my knee and it could have been solved.

"Those things are priceless.”