Knee Scope Cartilage - Mentally Exhausted

General words of encouragement can go a long way. Everyone on this site will appreciate help with coping with pain and disability. Non-denominational, please.
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MICROgeek (<20 posts)
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Knee Scope Cartilage - Mentally Exhausted

Post by sweetd4889 »

So in technical terms, I had a knee scope done a little over 2 weeks ago - 'abrasionplasty to the medial femoral condyle and trochlea'. I had a cartilage tear which they cleaned up, but also shaved down some of the bone.

I am 27 - have been doing Crossfit type of workouts for almost 2 years, running, weight lifting, high intensity stuff. My injury in my head is unknown - but I started to 'feel it' a few days after a slip on the playground (playing with my stepdaughter) that locked my knee out that caused swelling and pain. Before I got into the physical activities I do now, I had been overweight most of my youth and adult life so far - I spent many years 220lbs on a 5'3 frame. Not sure if that contributed to the cartilage wear and tear.

But here is my thing - I am mentally exhausted from all of this and not being able to do what I love. Being physical and working out isn't just my thing, but it's something my significant other and I share as well. It's killing me inside that we can't workout like we used to. We try now, but not doing the same workout makes me sad and miss what we used to do. To top it off - I have been off the crutches after a few days of the surgery and after getting the stitches out, I was told they really wanted me back on crutches for 6 weeks. WTF? "increased chance of stress fracture". I'm not running or doing anything I'm not supposed to.

I can't seem to get over this slump of self wallowing. It's starting to get on my boyfriend's nerves and I can understand it gets frustrating. But what frustrates me is that when people hear 'scope' they think it's no big deal and it was simple and not major. But to me it is. To me is has taken away one of the main things that makes me happy - working out. It's not like I'm not going to workout again or can't function, I get that side. But in this moment, it does feel like it. It's so frustrating. I'm so tired of feeling so down and depressed.

What have you done to get over the mental part of it all? Therapy is easy. Modified workouts are easy. The mental part of it is screwing with me. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
MICROgeek (<20 posts)
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Re: Knee Scope Cartilage - Mentally Exhausted

Post by DancingDreams »

I think a lot of people don't really understand the mentally exhausting part unless they've been through it. My husband is doing his best to be supportive through my injury, but he doesn't understand why I can't just sit and play videogames or something instead of obsessively scouring the internet for information. My injury is very recent, so at lot of things are still up in the air.

Basically, what you're talking about is the reason I joined this forum. My husband, who is an absolute blessing most of the time, started getting frustrated at my constant worrying. Learning about what my potential options are has had a mixed effect on my mood - sometimes I feel like I'm getting empowered, and other times I get freaked out because everything is still so uncertain. For him, this is extra hard to deal with because he works out of town for days at a time. He wants to be home to support me, but there's really nothing he can do.

Without a doubt, losing my activities and my mobility has made me depressed. For a while, I was diving into work because at least it gave me a sense of routine and normalcy. Then someone at HR complained about me working from home rather than coming to the office, even though I had my boss's support and a medical note explaining why I couldn't come in. All of a sudden, the thing I felt was keeping me sane (working) got pulled away from me. I still haven't quite recovered from that, but I'm hoping it will be resolved soon... I don't know if I'll ever get back to the activity I love (dancing), but I'm trying to stay optimistic and not stress about it too much.

I'm still struggling, but the following has helped:
  • re-establishing a normal routine wherever possible. Although I'm stuck at home, I make a point to still get dressed, brush my teeth, and eat as normally as possible.
  • accepting that now just isn't the time for certain activities. I usually like video games and have loads of other interests, but I'm in the wrong headspace to enjoy most of them right now. No sense beating myself up about it, that's just how I feel.
  • finding non-knee related activities that make me feel useful, like expanding my skills through reading or online courses.
  • talking to friends about what's going on in their lives, preferably the good stuff that's unrelated to work or dance.
  • being super diligent about physio, because if I slack off things stiffen up more and I pay for it big time.
  • coming online to see if there's someone else I can talk to because I know my husband needs a break

I'm really interested to see what other people have to suggest.

A friend suggested that it was totally ok and normal to grieve for the things I've currently lost, even if some of those things are only lost temporarily. I hate being a cry-baby, but sometimes just letting the tears flow has felt good too.
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Re: Knee Scope Cartilage - Mentally Exhausted

Post by icarus »


Welcome to the forums. Grieving is normal. It's always a shock to lose something to your physical being.

When it comes to continuing activity, I think it's amazing that we even have the treatment options available to us. In the grand scheme of things 6 weeks of crutches is very short compared to how much activity you will regain!

After reading alot of posts on the forum, I've come to the realization that technology has come such a long way that returning to full activity is always possible even with total knee replacement. Though it may be a sacrifice in convenience, it still allows people to do what they love to do! Please do not lose hope!

Hang in there, and keep thinking about the active future you're trying to carve out for yourself now and during your 6 weeks+ rehab
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Re: Knee Scope Cartilage - Mentally Exhausted

Post by Torao »

Would your partner (and/or others in the group) be willing to specifically workout with you instead of the larger group workout?

That way you aren't off in the corner doing your own thing alone. Yes, you're still limited in what you can do, but you would still get to keep more of the social aspect of your workout.

As for keeping your head up, my approach was to stay as disciplined as I could and go to as many of my workouts as possible. I couldn't do the things I normally do, but it gave me things to work on and kept me consistent on my rehab which got me back to doing the things I do. I had a couple of friends have a scope with cartilage removal late last year, one who did and continues to do her PT work and can operate without restriction and the other who didn't do her PT work and is still significantly limited.

I looked at my rehab like I look at training. I do the boring stuff so I can do the fun stuff. I hate using the elliptical machine or running, but I need the cardio so I can play capoeira or train parkour. I hate stretching, but it I need it for gymnastics. You may not be able to go as hard today as you want, but that work today will let you get back having lost less than you would otherwise.
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