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depression after surgery
« on: September 29, 2011, 05:33:44 PM »

I am post op 3 months mpfl/debridement/foreign body removal/and a small tear acl and trim to fix.

I am weak walking with my quad and sometimes just get really depressed. My recovery just seems too slow.

I can only walk normally for a little while and I get tired and limp.....

I am preoccupied with my knee and it is always on my mind..........I go to bed thinking about it and wake the same way.

Will this every go away?

I am working hard to get strength and am so frustrated that it just will not come quick enough.

Any advice?

Thanks much, David.

Offline greyliston

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Re: depression after surgery
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2011, 07:49:48 PM »

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but knee surgery is serious business and most doc's present patients with a very unrealistic recovery timeline.

Most knee surgeries take about 1 year to fully recover from so I would keep your chin up at only 3 months post-op.
2010 - Failed LR
2011 - Failed LR lengthening
2011 - TTT, LPFLr, MPFLr


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Re: depression after surgery
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2011, 07:57:29 PM »
Hi Greyliston,

Thanks for your is helpful to hear from anyone that is familiar with your own situation.

Regards, David.

Offline TwoBadKneesUSA

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Re: depression after surgery
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2011, 03:43:19 PM »
Sounds like they did quite a bit inside.  Most folks think 'it's just a scope".   Well yes and no.  There was quite a lot of stuff done and you are still really early on (3 months is early).  REcovery does take a bit longer for many than what the docs tell you.  Recovery is dependant on so many factors.  I would give a bit more time.  It is also not uncommon to feel depressed after sugery, especially if you are not recoverying as fast as you think you should.  Hang in there.

'83 lt knee scope
'88 lt knee LR
'89 rt knee LR (6 mos. after left)
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7/5/07 - scope, LR left, right clean
3/19/08 - LR failed, Supartz failed
8/21/08 - new OS apt
8/5/09 - TTT, LR, PFJR sched.


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Re: depression after surgery
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2011, 04:31:15 PM »
Thanks Milly.........I love to hear from anyone!

Your right, most people, me included, thought oh same day scope surgery.........Ill be back at it in a couple weeks......

I am 45 so I dont heal like I used to and have never had any surgery

what a slap in the face this has been..........

I could jog 3 miles no problem in May..........I can ony walk about 1/8mile now.......I get so leg is so weak. I am working daily on strength but it is so slow.

I severely underestimated the severity of the surgery.

Knee surgery is no joke.

Thanks for your reply


Offline bevsk

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Re: depression after surgery
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2011, 07:59:30 PM »
I'm only 4 weeks post op having had much the same done. It is hard to keep you chin up and it does feel like it will never end. It's very very hard to cope with knee surg when you are used to being so active but having lived off painkillers for so many years I have had to come to terms with the fact surg is only the poss best outcome. Try and take it day by day, if you are having a bad day just let it happen as tomorrow may be better. I also suffer with depression and have done for some time so taking one day at a time is important.  Just think one mile is a lot and being knackered is part of it, you will get through this, but it will take time. Be kind to yourself. Keep in touch, I will need some tips I'm sure

Offline Runner1993

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Re: depression after surgery
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2011, 08:11:46 PM »
Ddavid, you are not alone in what you are feeling. It's hard to really wrap your head around how much knee surgery affects you life until you have it. My life revolved around my knee...when will I walk right, when can I do this, what do people think of me limping, am I behind, etc.

I can't say if it goes away because I am having some problems still so it's on my mind often. However, I have seen many of my friends who have had surgery lead a life like they never had it....running, play sports, bending down into a full squat, and they never mention it bothering them or anything. You wouldn't know except for some faded scars.

I have heard that 1 year is the magic number or even up to 18 months if you had a lot of work done. My most recent knee surgery was MPFLR, LR, and TTT, and my surgeon told me 12-18 months, and that my knee will never been the knee I had before. I accept and appreciate his honesty, and he said, however, that I could expect to have a good knee at some point.

How is physical therapy? Are you in a brace? What does your OS think of your progression?

There are many times I cried in physical therapy over my knee out of frustration and sadness (and sometimes pain). I didn't feel like anyone understood, but this site has been wonderful.

Keep your head up!
July 21, 2009 - First Patella Dislocation
December 7, 2009 - Lateral release, medial reefing, and plica excision
January 14, 2011- TTT, MPFL Reconstruction, and Lateral Release


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Re: depression after surgery
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2011, 11:23:24 PM »
thank you guys/gals.


I love chatting with people that have this in common. Like you said, it easier to relate.

My main issue after surgery was my patella catching. making noise, this made me feel like the surgery was not a good take. This only occurs at one spot going from straight to flex at about 15 degress ........thats it.

My OS saw a grade iV chondromalacia on the back of knee....not sure of exact location but you can see it in pics during surgery. lookds dime or nickel size.......but circular.

He said my problem was my patella catching on my femur.........I was so sad as I thought I faced graft surgery but he set me up for injections first ....visco. ( I have read about those)

I found a nice light weight donjoy brace where I can walk semi normal and no popping or far.

I decided against the shots ...........I will just keep up my PT and wear my brace. I dont want anyone else digging in my knee..........period........not for a while.

Its funny because my OS looked one time as I reproduced this and said thats your patella but the spot that pops or catches is just below my patella on the lateral side of my patellar that soft spot. You can feel it jump under the skin when I do it but the patella is already way above the spot at that point.

I dont know..........I am going to keep up strengthening and try to be more realistic in my recovery.

I hate when people say........God, your still limping!!

Thanks guys, please keep writing and I will write to you too.


Offline starpolisher

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Re: depression after surgery
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2011, 08:28:28 PM »

Yes, what you feel is so normal.  I was told I would be a whole new person in 2 months by my orthopedic before my double tkr.....well I was....but i had arthrofibrosis and wound up far worse off for 6 years after my surgery!  I went through a lot of painful PT.......there were times I wondered how I could go on.

Fortunately I do have a pretty strong faith in God and I really prayed on a daily basis and for me, I did have much more peace of mind.  When I get away from it, I get down....but I pray again and truly feel better.  This might go against what your beliefs are or simplistic and I don't mean to offend. 

I always had hope until Nov of 2010 when my OS said sorry....nothing more we can do and cut me loose!  In may of this year, a new friend told me about Astym for my scar tissue (both knees were loaded and had terrible pain).  It has helped me a lot.  So many people seem to have success with Orthopedic surgery and yet you read about the complications and pain on this site and it's so disheartening and so many orthopedics don't want to help you!  I used to get blamed by my original OS for not trying hard enough!  That nitwit literally put a spacer that was too big for my knee in one knee and I felt as if I were walking with a boulder in my  knee.  I went to the best surgeon I could find and he immediately saw it!  He couldn't help my scar tissue problem, but he tried so hard and I am grateful.  I have found help for me although I will never be perfect....always have problems....and will just have to continue to fight my periods of depression.  I've done a lot of relaxation techniques....and have found that my faith and prayer really do help.  I also found that it helped my pain because the peace I would experience would relax my muscles.  It is important to find something that will help your mental state as that can really aggravate your pain.  Good luck!

Offline runner7

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Re: depression after surgery
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2011, 11:23:05 PM »
Hey ddavid!  Hang in there!  3 months isn't a lot of time in "knee time".

I know the feeling -- I was a D1 athlete who came to an immediate grinding (literally) halt.  I went from running 80 miles a week to absolutely nothing and I'm approaching 10 months now.  It's difficult but I think you'll be okay, considering you have had surgery.  My orthopedic surgeon told me that if I elected to get surgery at some point it would be 6 weeks of NO weight bearing at all, followed by 6 weeks of partial weight bearing, and then it would take up to a year before I could expect to feel somewhat normal again.  I haven't gotten surgery (yet), but it helps to mentally prepare for it.

There's lots of success stories, so give it a few more months and I think you'll be doing fine!

Offline brianwith2ndknee

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Re: depression after surgery
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2011, 12:57:54 AM »
Hello DDavid ,

   Just as runner said " knee time " . Well one way to look at it is knee time is need time . We are all here for the same reason one way or another , but solely based on the knee.  Each and everyone of us has a simillar scenerio . That is the recovery . Some are lucky like myself on the first go around . As far as this one I am alittle over a month into rehab after an OAT's and reconstruction and still don't have full control over my leg yet . I have been told I am a good year untill I get on with things , and can be upwards of  18 - 24 months before my body fully recovers from the extraction and re - implant of the cartlidge and bone . You need to remember that time is our best frien in this terrible adventure , and of course you will always find a shoulder here in the forum which I have found to be a great help . Wish you the best , and good luck ...
Knee Scope and Microfracture 03-2010
OAT's procedure , Reconstruction , Femoral nerve block 10-2011

Wishing everyone a healthy speedy recovery and good luck to all...
Brian S

Offline RLE

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Re: depression after surgery
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2011, 02:11:37 AM »
Tonight is my 10th week anniversary and on Tues early in the morning I woke up in excruciating pain in my back from either PT or how I was sitting while sleeping with the CPM-it's my security blanket at this point and had what I can describe as a nervous breakdown. I couldn't move because both my knee and back were in horrific pain there was no comfortable position. I cried and screamed all day on Tues. Literally. I babbled and was hysterical and out of control for the entire day until I fell asleep late at night. The next day it got a little better.
I'm exhausted and scared and in pain and have arthrofibrosis that I now must deal with. I've had myriad health problems and physical pain in my life and this beats all hands down. The OS and the PT made me feel that it was my fault, that I wasn't doing enough (strangely the week off from PT has greatly improved both my ROM and stiffness) and that coupled with all my other worries-financial, physical, emotional etc caused me to break down. I had no idea in the world knee problems were such a nightmare. The horror of it is that you can't just lie there in a fog of pain meds slowly improving but you must force yourself into more pain for rehab. So yeah, deep depression and anxiety. I have so far seen 3 OS and I hate them as a group. Arrogant ****** who don't care and are ignorant of their own specialty-mine wanted to do a lateral release for a torn ligament. Huh?
You are not alone.
Accident 2011: permanent dislocation, hole under the patella, bone fragments/debris embedded, scar tissue, 3 torn ligaments, fracture, cartilage sheared off, contracture,
2011 MUA
PT on-going
2012 MPFL reconstruction,TTT
        Lateral lengthenin
        Arthroscopy/clean out
Thx Dr. T

Offline rob43

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Re: depression after surgery
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2011, 09:48:04 AM »
ive been pretty depressed too
torn the cartilage 8months ago and they missed it on the mri
its taken them that long to noticed the mistake i,m 6weeks post op, micro fracture and later release still not even walking, put on 2stone feel very pissed off all the time, cant play football or do anything exercise
so totally know how it feels


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Re: depression after surgery
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2011, 01:34:06 PM »
HI all.........thx for all the encouragement and I hope I can encourage some of you.......since I last wrote, I am now 4mos/1 week post op.MPFL-recon and meniscus tear.....

I started wearing a light weight wrap around brace that feels great....................a month ago I could not walk 50yds with my big brace w/out my patella acting skechy.........just fellt weird and moved crazy after a short walk as fatigue set in.........hence stopping me and making my gait awful....just an unnerving feeling like a sublux but not.

Since, I have gotten out of bed, strap on my lite  brace,,,,,,,,,,,,and now have not had one episode like this..........and have walked a bunch......

I can feel the strength in my quad knee............stabilizing my patella to a point when I walk....keeping it in the groove

This feels like a huge milestone for me and I smiled for once.

Like everyone says..........time and slow progress............this was a small but important hurdle for me.

Everyone keep your chin up and do PT!!