Alice Tai has had her leg amputated after 10 years of consideration ©Getty Images

British Paralympic swimming champion Alice Tai has revealed her right leg has been amputated, saying she is "happy, healthy and thriving" following the operation.

Tai was born with bilateral talipes - known as club foot - and had been considering surgery for 10 years, eventually convinced by an elbow injury that kept her out of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

She won gold at Rio 2016 in the women's 4x100 metres medley relay - 34 points, and also won bronze in the S10 100m backstroke.

Posting on Twitter, Tai showed off her amputated leg, cut to just below the knee.

The 22-year-old cited worsening pain in her right foot and pressure on her arms from using crutches as reasons for the procedure.

"Firstly I'd just like to say that I am healthy, happy and thriving so please don't panic," said Tai on Twitter.

"Over the last few years, the pain in my right foot has worsened. 

"Both of my ankles are fused and arthritic but my right one has always been more troublesome and (comedically) non-functional.

"The medical team who've been involved since the surgery are incredibly optimistic about my recovery, as am I!

"I know a lot of people probably didn't see this coming; very few people knew. 

"I wanted to make sure the surgery was successful before sharing."

After success at the Rio 2016 Olympics, Tai claimed six gold medals in six disciplines at the 2019 International Paralympic Committee World Para-Swimming Championships in London.

"I first asked my surgeons about the possibility of amputation in 2012," she continued.

"There were no more corrective surgeries that could give me significant mobility improvements whilst reducing pain.

"At the time, it was agreed that amputation was an option, but that they'd rather perform it after I'd stopped growing. 

"Since then, it's never really left the back of my mind and I was just waiting on a good time to 'fit it in'.

"Last year, I realised I was wasting time - if a better quality life was possible (crutch free, less likely to wreck my arms), what was I waiting for?"

Tai has won seven world titles, five European titles and a Commonwealth Games gold so far in her career.

After pulling out of the British team for Tokyo 2020, her friend and team mate Grace Harvey took her spot.