Ankylophobia is the fear of joint immobility and this arises because of the fear that immobility of a particular joint can greatly affect their lives thus they would do anything to avoiding risking physical injury.
This fear may be caused by an injury in the past that has left a part of their body, even just a finger, immobile and it might have taken weeks or months for full function to return. They fear that further injury in the future could cause them to be disabled and they will not be able to get back to their normal lives. This fear could have its roots before the advent of physical therapy where most patients who had fractures or surgical procedures that involved joint repair were left on their own to do their own physical exercises so that they can regain function of the affected limb. But people with this fear should remember that in today’s modern medicine, physical therapy is already a part of treatment in injuries involving a limb or joint.
People with this fear would do anything to avoid physical activities such as contact sports that could put them at risk for being injured. If unavoidable, they would wear all the protective gear that they could possibly use and would sometimes just stand on the sidelines and not really participate in the activity.
Treatment includes psychotherapy which is helpful in most patients. Medications may also be prescribed to those with severe symptoms of anxiety or on the extreme spectrum, severe withdrawal symptoms.