Psychological problems after knee injuries

Posted , 5 users are following.

I've been re-injuring my right knee for a number of months now and I feel like every time after it heals I have this fear of hurting it again so when I walk up or down stairs or get up from chairs etc. I have this cautious feeling which weakens my knee and kind of makes my leg muscles not work correctly. Whereas if I do it normally without thinking about it i.e. naturally I don't have these issues. Is there a term for this problem? I'm trying to see what I can do about these mind games.

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    You should go seek advice from your doctor. You may need physio to strengthen your muscles in you legs.

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  • Posted

    I agree that strengthening all the musculature that supports the knee is absolutely vital. This is the program recommended by my certified trainer daughter for me after a TKR...

    Muscle Rebuild

    Seems to be very popular on the knee replacement forum.

    Also, see a SPORTS orthopedic surgeon to make sure there is no underlying structural problem. He might recommend a brace to use for a while during your muscle building phase to eliminate any chance of the knee giving out on you. DonJoy is the HUGE brace manufacturer that has all types of braces depending on your issue. Scary website because its so overwhelming. If you get guidance from your doc as to where your problem lies, then DonJoy can tell you what braces are best for that issue.

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    • Posted

      Appriciate it, and I have an appointment with my doctor soon, but I gotta say I have pretty muscular and strong legs, I doubt that that is the problem. I feel like I'm talking myself into hurting my knee, as bizarre as that may sound. It's very hard to describe my issue.

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    • Posted

      I played hockey for 45 years and recovered from four knee scopes to return to playing. I only had to stop in my mid-50s when my hip was replaced. I also have the lifetime gift of very strong legs so I recovered from the TKR rapidly. At 14 months, I was climbing stairs with alternating legs two at a time without holding onto anything. That muscle memory helped a lot.

      The ortho should be able to pinpoint your problem and suggest a plan to fix the issue. I always tell people that they don't have to live with pain. Find the underlying cause and fix it. I've done that all my life. Yes, all that hockey resulted in the installation of 4 1/2 pounds of metal in my hip, knee and spine but I don't regret any of that rink time.

      Your fears, while quite valid, need to be addressed by the orthopedic surgeon with the result being a recovery plan. Focus on that. Don't play "what if" games in your head every time you feel something odd...only screws you up more. Make sure you leave the doc's with a definitive diagnosis and treatment plan. Focus...no more mind games.

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  • Posted

    I understand this feeling, this fear and anxiety. Before my surgery I had a random knee injury on my other knee that required physical therapy. After that I had fear and anxiety. I walked slower, was afraid to bend my knee in certain positions, was a bit more cautious and I changed the way I slept. Regardless it got better and as time progress it got better. This was years ago.

    Then 4 months ago a random knee injury turned into knee surgery and 3 1/2 months of physical therapy that is still ongoing. It brought up and still brings up all those muscle memory and psychological trauma from my other knee injury. I'm dealing with it everyday and at this point it is what it is.

    My point is the fear/anxiety and your psychological problems is normal. I agree that you should check in with an expert, maybe it's your knee anatomy, maybe it's your weight/health/age, maybe it's the way you move exercise is the problem/perhaps you are doing something incorrectly. I don't know but you should definitely talk to a doctor/expert. If you armed with information it can definitely help control and manage your fear/anxiety. Don't wait, do it now, it could get worst.

    I would also say follow your intuition and body. Maybe all these injuries means there is something wrong. The way this current knee injury happened was random (like my other injury years before). For me the unpredictability of the injury and feeling trapped/powerless is what truly makes me uneasy. Perhaps it's the same with you. If anything I suggest maybe talking to a friend, family, or therapist, someone who won't dismiss/shame your feelings. They are valid and important and will help you figure this out and manage your fear/anxiety. It sucks now but it will be ok.

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  • Posted

    Paul, Suggest you try Hypnotherapy to help eradicate the negative thoughts from your mind since you clearly state you have NO issues when you stop thinking about your RIGHT KNEE (read - you only have issues when you have negative thoughts !!!!!!! this would tend to indicate that your knee is probably O.K.

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