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Offline Laura513

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Dislocation Anxiety
« on: March 10, 2004, 10:41:38 PM »
I just discovered this site today and am so grateful to have support readily available.

In July of '03 I had my first patellar dislocation. I'd had knee pain most of my life but never anything so horribly painful. It was the absolute worst pain I've ever been in and the most horrifying experience I've ever known. I made it through PT successfully and now go to the gym 2-3 times a week to keep myself strong. My quads are in great shape, and while I still have pain, it's fairly minor.

The problem is that I cannot seem to let go of this horrible anxiety. I think about the injury every day, and when I do, I cry. I worry about tripping over a doggy toy, or the dog, or the coffee table, or a rock. I worry about dislocating it at home away from a phone with nobody to help me. Has anyone had such stress after an injury? I'm obsessed with this injury and I don't know if a counselor would be the right person to see or not. My OS has a serious illness and isn't seeing his patients any longer, so he's going to transfer me to a different doctor where I'll have to start all over again.

Can anyone give me any advice? I know I've only had on dislocation but I know this may just be the first of many and it's interfering with my ability to lead a normal life.

Offline ozzybug

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Re: Dislocation Anxiety
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2004, 10:57:06 PM »
Laura-
Oh sweetie- it's a terrible thing to live with anxiety that interferes with your daily activity, but it sounds like you are doing the right thing by exercising and keeping yourself & your body healthy.  It's also a very good thing that you found us here at KG and we welcome you to the community.

If this situation is causing you this much anxiety, it might be a good idea to at least talk to your GP about this and how it's making you feel.  It may be that he/she can perscribe something for those really bad times of anxiety.  I went through a spell a couple of years ago that was extremely stressful and started having anxiety attacks.  I thought I was going crazy because I didn't know what was going on.  My GP wrote me a scrip for a very low dose of Xanax.  (the lowest dose available)  It isn't something that I had to take daily- only when I was havning an attack.  It really did help me.  To this day, I am occasionally haunted by the anxiety attacks and when I do, it makes me feel better to know that if I need it, the Xanax is there.

I'm not saying that this is the answer to your problem, but sometimes, because we are only human, we do need a little help along the way, and if it makes a difference in your ability to perform your daily routine, then it may be worth asking about.

I'm sure there are others here who can offer more advice if you aren't ok with medication.  Just know that you will find some really nice people here, and will be given so much support from all of us.

Please let us know how you're feeling.  In the mean time, I'm sending hugs your way and will be keeping you in my thoughts.

Hugs-
Lezlee
Rt knee:Meniscal repair 8/03: Repair prev. meniscus repair 10/03;Chondro shave, scar tissue removal 12/03;LR,debridement chondro & scar tissue 04/02/04;TTT done 09/14/04;VMO advancement 04/2005- Does it ever end?

Helen_uk

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Re: Dislocation Anxiety
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2004, 09:11:32 PM »
Hi there I think it is normal to feel anvious when you are or have dislocated as it is worrying. I feel like that when I am in front of steps I have to get down but It is a good idea to chat these feelings over with your gp , it hasnt helped that your os isnt going to be around, if you have had a good relationship it is hard to swap and change but maybe a new guy may be able to shed something new on things and be able to help you more.
If you evr feel panicky just take a deep breath and count to ten and see if it passses but go and chat to some one about this who can proffesionally put your mind to rest. We are all here for you
Love H xx ;)

Offline bummmmknee

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Re: Dislocation Anxiety
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2004, 05:10:19 AM »
Laura.. I have been going through the same thing... I had so many dislocations in the past and the last one in December left me on the floor for 3 hours ( I was alone and could not get to the phone)... The last one ruined me for good so I got surgery to try to correct it.  Anyway... I got over it all the other times but after it happens it takes a while to get over that anxiety. Now that I had surgery I still have the anxiety of dislocation and for that I am holding on to my brace more than I should and my crutches more that I should too...

pain/fear anxiety is so bad... It has slowed my progress down to put me back about 3 weeks behind what I should be. Fear of walking without support for the most part.  The only time I do anything has been at PT and that is because they actually make me do it and I cry but nothing happens so I guess all the worrying sometimes is for nothing and it is terrible to waste time on it.  

What helped me in the past after dislocating was wearing a buttress brace... it is light, supportive and keeps the patella in place. For the most part as long as you work out the legs and keep your quads strong, you will be fine. I did not and after 3 dislocations It was going to keep happening if I did not get the surgery. If I would have kept up my PT after the first one it might not have been so damaged and messed up.

I personally took anxiety meds in the past and still dislocated again... so it really didn't do anything for me. I think what helps the most is once you do something a few times and see it won't happen, then that part eases up... me I have taken things so sloooowwww... First I would not do stairs/steps... then I did then with help and after about 2 weeks when I saw nothing happened to my knee and it felt stable... I take them alone.  You just have to be patient and work something in each day or each week... have someone help you.. for instance... I am a maniac about the floor being clean, dry and nothing on it for me to slip on or trip... so my husband and my friends take turns helping me clean up and make sure the floors are safe and my kids do the same .  just take it slow and it will drift from your mind. eventually you won't even think about it.. I am telling you the truth and I am the most anxious dislocated person ... so I know.  In time you will just do things and won't be thinking.."my knee might pop out"..

Let us know how you are doing with it.. I get anxiety real bad when I go out to the store and to dinner, fear of objects on the floor, uneven surfaces, wet floors.. etc.. but I just take it slow and go. Before I would not even leave so it gets better.  I also get anxiety at PT still and I do cry but oh well I gotta do it and it has gotten better.. I was feeling faint and sick and now I just cry some LOL.... SMILE.. just imagine me at PT infront of all those people crying like a little baby while they all look at me like what the heck ... LOL... and I am sure it makes my PT seem like a real hard ass to them.. ha ha....

Kerrie
1/14/04 TTT w/LR left knee; malalighnment of both knees:multiple dislocations...home PT again, no funds!  ROM 136

Offline Laura513

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Re: Dislocation Anxiety
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2004, 03:45:02 PM »
I appreciate all of your responses. They mean a lot to me, and I'm so glad to have support.

As it happens, I have been on anti-depressants for a few years, but I don't know if these are designed to cope with anxiety so I will talk to my GP. You are absolutely right about getting used to doing things and feeling safe; the first time I went on a hike in the woods with my dog I was terrified and now I'm fairly confident. Since I keep my leg very strong and lift a few times a week, I'm hoping and praying to be okay. The anxiety has gotten much better as time has passed. In August after the surgery I cried every day; now that it's March I usually only have an uneasy feeling of dread when I think about it. I still take wet floors and icy surfaces extremely cautiously, and am considering giving up downhill skiing. (Can anyone tell me if skiing is completely out?) I know it will take a long time, and I thank you for your words of encouragement. It means so much to have support.

Offline Kimby

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Re: Dislocation Anxiety
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2004, 05:25:27 PM »
I've had knee dislocations since my early teens.  Patella tendon transversals worked for a while, but then the failed and I just had a TTT done on the right leg this past August.  I had forgotten what it was like to have the "dislocation anxiety" mainly probably because I put it out of my mind.  I've been having pretty regular dislocations on the left knee now since having the right one done.  Yes, it hurts.  Yes, it's a worry.  But you can't let it prevent you from doing things.  Actually, by doing more things you discover your limitations quickly (ie what position your knee is in when it dislocates or even subluxates - make notes, it's helpful for your OS to know exactly what you were doing and what position your knee was in when it happens).  If you baby it, you'll find that it dislocates anyway plus life is too short to limit yourself.  If you haven't discovered how already, you'll learn how to put it back in place yourself - not sure how encouraging that is for you, but it's the truth of the matter.  

I wish you the best of luck - take care of yourself now because you're right, too, it probably won't get better and early intervention is the best thing you can do for yourself.

Take care!

Kim
1982 - R patella tendon transversal
1983 - L patella tendon transversal
2003 - R TTT and patella medial ligament   reconstruction
2004 - L TTT and PMLR

Helen_uk

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Re: Dislocation Anxiety
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2004, 09:45:27 PM »
I think ski ing maybe a bit too ambitious really especially with the anxiety but I do know some skiers have very good braces for skiing so maybe you could check that out when things arent so acute.
Good luck
H xx

Offline ozzybug

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Re: Dislocation Anxiety
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2004, 09:07:45 PM »
Laura-
The anti-depressants are a good thing to be taking, but there are meds out there specifically made to deal with anxiety.  Like I said before, the Xanax wasn't something I had to take on a daily basis- only when I was having an anxiety attack did I take them.  It's deffinately a good idea to talk to your GP about them if you are having attacks that are interfering with your daily routine.

I'm not one who thinks that popping pills is the answer to every bad situation that comes along, but I do firmly believe that when there is a sitation that is causing this much stress, worry and anxiety and it's affecting your outlook, thenby all means- do what you need to do as long as it's not something that will be harmful.  When Xanax is taken for the right reasons and is not "abused" it can be a lifesaver.

I hope you are feeling better sweets.  Let us know how things are going.

Hugs-
Lezlee
Rt knee:Meniscal repair 8/03: Repair prev. meniscus repair 10/03;Chondro shave, scar tissue removal 12/03;LR,debridement chondro & scar tissue 04/02/04;TTT done 09/14/04;VMO advancement 04/2005- Does it ever end?

Offline emma

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Re: Dislocation Anxiety
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2004, 05:29:17 PM »
Hi laura

Dislocations are awful and to deal with the recovery and the emotional scars that haunt our minds can take longer than the healing of the dislocation itself!

I compleltey understand your anxiety, both my kneecaps have been dislocating since I was nine and I am soon to 29 :o, so 20 years of this has had been hard on my body and mind.
If I were you instead of waiting for the "next" dislocation (which hopefully will never happen for you) I would do something positive. I would ask my doctor to start the ball rolling to find out why your kneecap dislocated.

Finding out the reason why it came out can help you understand yourself and having knowledge about your condition can only be positive because then you can start the process to find ways to limit or completley stop the dislocations all together!  :)

This, I feel will help the anxiety attacks we may hate our situations but we have to learn to live with ourselves and by understand thats just a little step towards having a more enjoyable life!!!

If one of your fears is having a dislocation and being somewhere without anyone to help and not having a phone near by, always carry a mobile phone this means being strict because I hate the damn things, I often have my phone on silent because I can't stand the nose of it when I'm out on my dog walk, but I know that if I was too have a dislocation boy I would need it!!

Little things can have big effects on our lives like I'm always the last person to walk down a flight of stairs, making sure that no one is rushing behind me or just incase someone was to slip behind me, that could be another dislocation!!!

Learning to live like that is not easy but it will become easier for you, and what better place to learn and get advice is somewhere like this, I wished there'd been this sort of net work when I had my first dislocation!

Use this site to learn, to off load, to cry, to laugh at!! I know thats not at all easy at the mo but girl your not alone!!
When you feel an anxiety attack coming find somewhere to sit (even if its on the floor!) breathe deeply and take a few moments to calm yourself, if you do this your heart rate naturally drops and thats you begining to taking control. Plus having, even just one person to confide in is a great way of calming down.

Take care of your knees and look after yourself  :D

Email anytime Emma.x
Spontaneous dislocations to both kneecaps for 20 years!
Bilateral Arthroscopies - Awaiting Op's Right knee on 23/9/05
Left knee in Jan 06

Offline FieryMayhem

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Re: Dislocation Anxiety
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2004, 04:47:53 AM »
First off, I want you to always remember this one thing:  You should never feel bad for having dislocation anxiety.  Oddly enough, I was just talking to my mom about anxiety this morning, particularly, anxiety as a result of an injury or surgery.  This comes at a great time too seeing how two weeks ago tomorrow she had surgery, and two days ago my knee subluxed, badly.  It's a normal feeling, and in all honesty, I think it's healthy, to a point.  It makes us more aware, and because of that we tend to take better care of ourselves, making sure we protect ourselves.  

I know it's hard sometimes to draw the line between normal anxiety and "obsessive" anxiety, but once you find that boundary, things become easier and you learn to worry less, but at the same time you're still really watching out for your health.  As for crying... well, I don't know about a lot of other people, but I cry too when I'm having a hard time dealing with all of this.  It's good to let out your feelings, don't keep them bottled up or it makes coping harder.  This site is wonderful for coping because all of us know what you're going through, and on that level we can offer support that so many others can't.  

One thing I, along with others I'm sure, would suggest is that you might talk with your doctor about this.  He/she might be able to ease your mind a bit and take some of the pressure away.  No matter who you talk to, don't feel bad about it.  I've just recently started going to someone to try to cope better with my issues, and though it's been a short period of time, I think I'm starting to handle it all better.  Plus, you know all of us here at KG are always here if you want/need to talk.  

Good luck!

-Jessa
23 years old
12/00 Scope & LR
01/04 Scope & patella shave
05/04 TTO & then some
09/04 Screw removal

"That which is dreamed can never be lost, can never be undreamed." -Master Li

Offline Laura513

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Re: Dislocation Anxiety
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2004, 06:35:30 PM »
Thank you to everyone who has chimed in with their support and encouragement. I appreciate it so much.

I have found that as time has passed my anxiety has lessened. I still think about it many times a day, but the bad dreams have stopped for the most part and I do have a counselor and a doctor that I can discuss this with when I'm ready to do so.

It's funny how we all seem to do the same things, like keeping a cell phone with me in case of a fall and letting other people go down stairs before me. I still go out of my way to not place myself in potentially harmful situations. At the same time, I originially dislocated my knee in a hotel bathtub! I just slipped. So that proves that it can happen anywhere at any time, and I know that living my life in fear and putting my life on hold won't do me any good. Though I'm afraid, I fully intend to have a full summer of white-water rafting and hiking and camping. My knee doesn't seem to have any problems aside from the usual chondromalacia pain, and I stay in the gym at least twice a week to keep my quads strong.

I'm still very afraid, and anxious, but the anxiety is something I'm getting under control. Hearing from all of the wonderfully supportive folks around here has been so helpful, though. I'm seeing a new ortho in a few weeks so I'll keep you all posted.  :)

Offline jeff138

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Re: Dislocation Anxiety
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2004, 05:24:15 AM »
Hi Laura,
I know where you're coming from. As a teenager (25 years ago) I had several hundred dislocations -- sometimes 3 or 4 each day. I'd pop it back in and continue on (Isn't football great?!). I'd get to the point where I'd wake up at night screaming, still dreaming of the pain. Even now, all these years later, if I feel so much as a lateral twinge it's all I can do to keep from screaming out and collapsing.
My only suggestion is to go slow, one step at a time, and gradually regain your physical confidence. It'll come, believe me, but it will take time.
Good luck, Laura. I'm with you.
Chondromalacia since age 11
MCL/ACL repair L knee 79
6 scopes (3 each) in 2002 and 2003
Bilateral replacements 4/20/04

Offline Maggi

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Re: Dislocation Anxiety
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2004, 06:55:17 PM »
Hi Laura, have just read your mails, i know how you feel . i have had dislocated my right knee for 45 years now, as a child each week or more as an adult  less frequently. When i had my lateral release 4 months ago  i thought it would end, but it has moved 3 times since. The ist time i just cried on our bed saying that its not worth living if its coing to continue. Prior to the op it would :'( :'( go round to the back of the knee and i would have to push it around. Anyway everytime i think of it my teeth go on edge and i get very anxious, my family try not to mention knees as i freek out. After the op the phsio said its all in the mind and my knee would be okay, i am still experiencing problems, but try to continue normally. I am extreamly careful when out and around the house, and i am dreading the possible next dislocation, all i can do it keep doing the excersises hoping to avoid the dreadful feeling when it happens. I really feel for you only the people who have dislocated know whats its like. Take care Maggi :'(
Medial dislocation of right knee for 44 years. OP performed, Patella re alignment, dibridment, plica removal, lateral release menisectomy. all in one go.















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