Cerebellar gait ataxia, knee giving out

Before my ataxia diagnosis, I fell and injured a knee, hitting the patella on the pavement. I thought my knee was just bruised; however, later the patella healed crookedly. I’d had a total knee replacement on that knee & went back to the surgeon who did it. He did an MRI and told me nothing was torn or damaged. However, since that time, I’ll be walking along and just occasionally, the knee will buckle a bit. Once it buckled so badly I almost fell. Has anyone with ataxia had a similar experience? Because if the joint replacement is sound and nothing is torn, I’m thinking the ataxia may be causing my knee to buckle…

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i had my 2 knees replaced in 2012 & 2013 and there doing great . ive had cerebellar ataxia since 2015 .

:flushed: I can almost imagine what went through you head when you fell. It’s reassuring to have the MRI on your knee and be told the replacement hasn’t suffered permanent damage :slightly_smiling_face:

Ataxia obviously affects posture and gait, so it’s possible there could be a knock on effect. Have you mentioned it to your Neurologist :thinking: xB

I have cerebellar ataxia and my knee buckling was cause of problems early on. Now that I walk slowly and with care, it’s not so bad but occasionally it goes. I dont know if inturned foot is the problem, I have had foot straightening surgery and orthotics made but I find that exercise helps most.

Dear Missy, I don’t know if this is related but about 2 years ago I fell and injured my left pinky and shoulder… The X-ray showed no breakage and the pinky healed but it looked swollen and crooked. There is no pain and normal function. If there is periodic malfunction, I wouldn’t know…xx…N

Yesterday at my support group, I met with 2 people with knee problems, both had needed surgery. One lady had SPS, if she removed the brace from her knee there was a possibility of it bending backwards. Both still managed to get around on mobility scooters :slightly_smiling_face: xB

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I have SCA, and only last weekend I couldn’t put any weight on my left knee without it giving way. Lasted about 36 hrs, despite resting lots. No previous knee damage, and no problems before… Suspect it’s ataxia, going to check with my Osteopath at next appt if I can do any exercises for it

Mine doesn’t bend backwards, it bends forward while I’m walking. I’ll be putting weight on it walking and without warning, it just loses its strength and gives way.

:thinking: Currently, do you use a cane, or rollator? It must be scary not knowing your knee is unreliable. :slightly_smiling_face: xB

In the Uk. Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield are undertaking a Gait analysis study (SPG7 - HSP - Ataxia ) using the OptoGait - sensor walkway.

Details to follow


Yes, this has been a puzzeling symptom of my Ataxia, especially early on. Not so much anymore, but I can be standing talking with someone and my knee will just buckle. I also could anticipate it at times going down stairs as I do have knee pain(mild) and it seems to trigger this reaction ocasionally. Its really puzzeling.

Hello Missy my name is Kirsten I have Ataxia since I was in third grade a life time ago. I fell a little over a yr ago and spend 6months in physical therapy. My ataxia acts up bad at least a couple of times a month. I think with my feet turning every which way and never really sitting right my knees will always be out of whack. I have spent this past yr in and out out of orthopedic doctors and are not sure what to do with me. I walk daily exercise my legs doing different exercises it helps and use a special leg cream to help with inflammation it helps some what. I will keep you in my prayers…

That is exactly what my 72 year old husband has experienced from time to time throughout the 10 years of symptoms. His knees would buckle right out from under him. He had the knees checked about 6 years ago and they could find nothing wrong. After several recent falls he thought it was the knee giving trouble again, so he once again went to an ortho doctor. They scanned the knee. The dr. came back in saying that he has the knees of an 18 years old. So once again, it’s not a problem with the “body” part…the problem is damage in the Cerebellum portion of his brain. So maddening when dealing with healthcare professionals who are clueless to the condition.

Can you tell me what the cream is called? Thank you so much. Carolyn

Just had knee surgery 10 weeks ago. I still buckle every now and then. I have to take it slow and use my cane. Hope you get some relief.

The cream is called Diclofenac Sodium Topical Gel, 1% I had to get a
prescription for it

Yes, everywhere outside my home, I use a sturdy cane every day.

I found out new info about my knee buckling while I’ve been taking physical therapy after left total hip replacement surgery. Apparently when my hip began to deteriorate, my knee on the same leg began drawing up and got weak. It will not straighten completely. The therapist said this will correct itself as I adjust to my new hip. So it appears that there was never any ataxia in my knee after all. Thanks to everyone for your comments.