I can completely sympathize with all in that I've managed to blow out one knee (requiring surgery) and both shoulders (one cortisone shot and several weeks of PT...so far). The knee required an ACL reconstruction with a patellar tendon graft. The joint is pretty stable, and I wear a Don Joy Female Fource Point brace at all times (having tried both custom and off the shelf braces, that is the only one that doesn't migrate to my ankle during practice). However, the tendon beneath my kneecap where the graft was taken still has a lovely case of chronic tendonitis. Backrolls and knee walking really aggravate it but I'm currently playing with some padded tape to see if I can give it more cushion.
The shoulders are vexing though. I've been battling injuries to both of them on and off for the better part of 8 months now. It started with an imbalance in the muscle strength that was supposedly corrected with PT. However, if I'm just a smidgen off on a forward roll and make first contact just above my elbow..wham it's out again. I did it again last night to my left one in fact. The docs I saw today want me to take an 8 week hiatus, which of course will put me past the next test date (and we only test twice a year). I can do technique (and iaido) all day long with no pain (except for an odd little mentsuki iriminage omote variation that my Sensei is currently obsessed with..), but rolls are a serious issue. I could go ahead and come to class, but I feel really selfish (and like a whiny little princess) by practicing technique but not being able to take ukemi.
The article talked about the fear of re-injury. I think that is one of the reasons why I keep re-injuring myself. I mentally berate myself for being able to take decent koshinage air but not a silly little seated forward roll. That tension and anticipation of pain build up, and I enter the roll without relaxing. Last night I was already tense about another issue, and sure enough, first left side roll got me. My upper arm hit the Within 10 minutes it was swollen to the point where I couldn't raise my arm above my shoulder.
And so I'm off to iaido land for the next two months. Maybe I can finally perfect that silent nukitsuke....
Or maybe not!