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Author Topic: Panic Attacks, Grief, & Scared to have another surgery  (Read 2614 times)

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Offline ThirdRound

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Panic Attacks, Grief, & Scared to have another surgery
« on: January 25, 2016, 08:59:03 PM »
So just over two years ago I had TTO to realign my patella and to keep it from dislocating. After a year with the hardware I was having pain from it and had it removed. I thought "oh great, now I'm cured." Well it's been a year and few months since that and now I find myself in pain going up and down stairs and unable to do much for exercise. The one thing that I love doing is horseback riding and luckily that does not give me pain. However I decided to go back to office that originally did my surgery and ask what was going on. I live on the third floor and need to do stairs a couple of times a day at least. The Dr. kind of poo poo'd my pain and said "go to PT". I insisted on more imaging, which she reluctantly agreed to. I just knew something wasn't right. So she ordered an MRI and lo and behold there is now cartilage damage. She still said PT and a cortisone shot. I started looking around for a second opinion. I ended up at the Cartilage Repair Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Now I know that all surgeons are going to recommend surgery but my non surgery option doesn't sound promising either. This new doctor recommends ACI (autologous chondrocyte implantation) surgery. He might also want to revisit the TTO while hes in there and maybe also tweak a muscle. The recovery time is extensive. A full year before I can even start to resume regular activity. This just sounds so overwhelming to me. I'm afraid to have surgery again and be worse off again. To top it off I associate knee surgery with losing my dear father, who passed away only months after my surgery. The anniversary of his death is next week and I just feel like sh*t. Since he died I've dealt with anxiety and thought I was doing so much better but in the last two weeks I've had two panic attacks which is unusual for me. The one thing that helped was my connection to my horse and riding. I don't think about anything when I ride and I am in the moment. To not be able to do that for a year kills me. Subjectively I know it's silly to let that stop me but it is more effective than actual therapy/meds/meditation for me. How do I find the strength to make the decision on whether to have the second surgery or not. Right now I can live through the pain but I'm getting fatter and fatter. I probably will be in extensive pain within a year. How do you face multiple surgeries?

Offline kneemonic

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Re: Panic Attacks, Grief, & Scared to have another surgery
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2016, 02:12:16 AM »
There is so much grief in your post. I am sorry for the loss of your father and your lessened mobility. What would he say to calm you? I think you should not make any quick decisions in your present state. I am in a similar position. The only way I will get back what I lost from what I can make out is the same procedure.  It is an overwhelming rehab to read about. I have tried to do some looking online about it. If you are younger your chance of success is much better (<40 y/o) and those younger people need to think about this because if they get a knee replacement that only gets them to 60. I'm not sure what your doctor plans with the extra little bits but get a second opinion on that part. From what I can tell the ACI doesn't harm anything so the worst outcome (other than the phenomenal expense and surreal rehab protocol) is they don't grow and you don't get relief and you are back where you started. Then that leaves a replacement. I have friends who have had replacements and they are happy with the result and can walk up stairs. I am late 50's so my plan right now is to start swimming. Not keen on swimming but maybe I can grow to like it. And to lose some weight-low glycemic diet. It makes sense to do that even if you go ahead with the surgery. For the panic and emotional upset some counseling may help just to get a bit steadier. I hope this is helpful and I wish the best for you. KJ

Offline ThirdRound

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Re: Panic Attacks, Grief, & Scared to have another surgery
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2016, 09:24:05 PM »
Thanks for your reply. I definitely have good days and bad and I am in therapy. I don't intend to make any decision on the ACI quickly. I cared for my mother this past summer while she had TKR and I think seeing the pain she went through during recovery has me skittish. I remember my own pain being pretty bad in the first two weeks. But at least I knew I had to wait only a few months before I could get back to the things I love doing. This one is a full year which makes it daunting.

Offline Torao

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Re: Panic Attacks, Grief, & Scared to have another surgery
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2016, 06:19:27 PM »
Having had ACI, yes the recovery is a long time, but at least for me, it's been highly successful. It took me a year after being told I would need the surgery to be emotionally ready for it. But now at 19.5 months post surgery, I am able to do most things I was able to do before surgery and even things I wasn't able to do before surgery. I still have some strengthening left to do and I've yet built up the confidence to try big jumps yet, but I'm getting closer.

But I found that I was able to stay active doing lots of things by modifying them to avoid my right leg which really helped mitigate the impact of being in recovery. Sure it wasn't exactly the same, but it kept me moving and motivated to do my rehab every day. It also helped keep me emotionally stable as all of my social life is structured around training.

The initial post surgery pain was actually less than I had expected. I was thinking it would be pretty bad, but I was off of the morphine less than 10 days after surgery and was then just on Tylenol.

I wish you luck no matter what option you go with.















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