Oscar Pistorius, the former “blade runner” known for his prosthetic legs, is facing difficulties with having to properly run with his legs following his years of inactivity in prison. His trademark bespoke blades, once used for Paralympic competition, no longer fit him due to the lack of daily running during his imprisonment, the Daily Mail reported. His legs have equally shrunk too, the report added.
Pistorius, now 38 and infamous for the 2013 shooting of model Reeva Steenkamp, sought medical attention in Atteridgevale Prison in Pretoria due to concerns about muscular decline, raising fears that he may never be able to run properly again, according to Daily Mail.
Pistorius had both feet amputated at 11 months due to a congenital defect. Dr. Gerald Versfeld, the orthopedic surgeon who performed the double amputation, visited Pistorius in prison to assist with fitting new prostheses after Pistorius faced issues with ill-fitting prostheses.
Upon entering jail, the Olympic runner had expressed discomfort with his prosthetics, as they no longer fit properly. Pistorius, who was recently released on parole on January 5, has experienced a reduction in the length of his remaining thighs, as revealed during a medical examination. The diminished length is attributed to his inability to run extensively while incarcerated, causing muscle atrophy, the Daily Mail reported.
Standing at 6ft tall on his artificial limbs in his prime, Pistorius received new prostheses to replace the old ones that no longer fit due to changes in his physical condition, according to a prison source.
“He is trying to adapt but is concerned he will never be able to run in anything like the way he did before.”
He was released after serving half of his 13-year and five-month sentence for the murder of Steenkamp and is facing various challenges. Apart from physical issues, such as muscle atrophy due to inactivity, he has reportedly developed new concerns.
Pistorius has become a chain smoker, gained weight, and is dealing with paranoia, fearing potential harm or public backlash, the Daily Mail reported. He has reportedly not left his uncle Arnold’s mansion since leaving prison. Sources reveal that he has been secluded in his bedroom, engaging in activities such as reading his Bible, playing video games, and watching Premier League football on television.
Despite his seclusion, Pistorius has received loyal support from his sister Aimee, and the siblings have been heard laughing and joking in Afrikaans. Dr. Versfeld, the orthopedic surgeon, expressed the belief that it would take Pistorius a long time to leave his uncle’s mansion.
“There may be parole conditions that are keeping him at home. But I think he is not ready to face the world. He has been in a pretty awful environment for some time. He has been in prison for eight years.”
Pistorius is reported to be at risk of revenge from underworld figures due to the killing of Steenkamp, who was rising to fame and expected to become a popular TV personality.
Alan Retief of Waterkloof, who presented Pistorius with flowers upon his release, said Pistorius’s fear is justified, noting that he has been out of the public eye for an extended period.
“The public perception of him has changed. He was a hero and now he is a convicted murderer. He needs time, a lot of it to help him.”
Pistorius must reside with his uncle until December 2029 when his punishment concludes. Despite the controversy, some in the neighborhood still hold a positive view of Pistorius, believing that he did not intentionally shoot Steenkamp and genuinely thought it was an intruder in his home, as expressed by Retief.