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ACL braces for skiing? Any thoughts? - Page 2

post #31 of 59


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post

Sorry to interject a smaller knee problem here but thought and think you guys may know the answer.  Couple weeks ago stretched the outside ligaments on my R knee.  Did this (dumb) while taking a lesson from a Level III friend and we were practing angulating the skis up.  Am 69 and my ligaments should not have gone that far over.  Anyway have some R knee pain, went to local Ortho and he confirmed I stretched the ligaments. Advice stay off for a few days.

 

Re-tweaked yesterday in real heavy wet snow.  Alternating heat and cold, taking Ibu.  Really don't want this all year, so asking anyone have some advice or do I just put up with the pain and ski.

 

Never had any knee problem before skiing.  Had same knee scoped and cartilege cleaned out about 14 yrs ago by a "Dr. Browning in tahoe city- blew up cart. race training on my bicycle.

 

Any advice appreciated.   thanks Pete

  My advice for what it is worth,  Spend the next two weeks biking and icing.  If you keep tweaking it you may up with something worse or tendinitis, so a couple of weeks off not skiing should take care of it.   But don't just do nothing,  riding a bike will speed up the healing process and keep your legs strong.  

 

 

post #32 of 59

I'm also using the CTi Ossur on both knees, even though I only tore one ACL (last Jan).  Insurance covered, so I said "hell yes".  I'm in the "more stability, the better" camp.  I got Kneebindings also and am keeping my legs strong.  I've only been skiing twice this year, pretty conservatively.  I'm about to step it up.

 

I figure the more obstacles between me and another ACL tear (short of quitting skiing) the better.

post #33 of 59
Thread Starter 

Pete, not a doc but I can play one :)  

 

The outside ligament: LCL?  I don't think you want to damage that one! Listen to the doc and give him/her a call and see if you can wrap it or brace it. You may look into some simple strengthening exercises. But bottom line, a few days off while conditions are thin may not be a bad idea  icon14.gif  the snow is coming. 

 

 

Calling Insurance nazi's today to see what braces are covered  


Edited by Finndog - 12/30/11 at 4:57am
post #34 of 59

Not a doctor, but I think both Finndog and pdiddy have the right idea.

 

Keep it moving, but nothing strenuous until it's healed a bit. Biking with light resistance on the trainer or flat road might work well.

 

I'm skiing with a Bregg knee brace (Insurance paid for most of it) to compensate for a unrepaired ruptured ACL from a few decades back. The brace is light, supportive and not very restrictive. Put in 21 days last year - most of it in Colorado - using this set up. Recommended to me by my Ortho who is an avid skier.

 

 

post #35 of 59

I ski with a custom DonJoy on my left knee. It's a rather sloppy thing (my knee that is) and the brace is there to prevent further injury. Hamstrings have been key for me; even a moderately trained ham can hold in a lot of force.

post #36 of 59

Thanks everyone, will heed your advice.  Lot of rain here lately and my cat ski trip is put off until 17th.  Will get on bike/trainer and do some spinning.  I try to walk/hike a lot and am thinking keep up the walking but confine myself to level roads/trails.  Would that be ok for my knee.  Been off skis now for 2 days and alternating heat and ice and knee is better but definitely not 100%. Comments on walking and spinning appreciated. Anything else I can do?  Again thanks everyone.  Pete

post #37 of 59
Thread Starter 

Pete, its just been a bit under 2 weeks for me. Different I know but I am having good results with the bike (stationary 45 mins per day) Its going to take some time.  I know its not what you want to hear....  Get thee to a dr and see if theres a solution as far as brace.  If nothing else, a little knowledge about what's going on may make you feel better.  Good or bad, at least you won't be guessing.   Cheers and I'm routing for ya'

 

BTW- I understand, I had to cancel my cat trip to BC on january 9th.  As you know, they are getting pounded in the Kooteney's.  Oh well, next season.  

post #38 of 59
Thread Starter 

Got approval from insurance Co today for any brace the Dr prescribes.  they cover 90%!  

post #39 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

 

BTW- I understand, I had to cancel my cat trip to BC on january 9th.  As you know, they are getting pounded in the Kooteney's.  Oh well, next season.  


 

See, that word, "cancel" -- it won't start snowing in CO until you give up this foolhardy plan to continue skiing! This is NO way to be a proper sacrifice....

 

(Wait, does that mean there is an open spot on a cat in BC on Jan 9??)

post #40 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

Pete, its just been a bit under 2 weeks for me. Different I know but I am having good results with the bike (stationary 45 mins per day) Its going to take some time.  I know its not what you want to hear....  Get thee to a dr and see if theres a solution as far as brace.  If nothing else, a little knowledge about what's going on may make you feel better.  Good or bad, at least you won't be guessing.   Cheers and I'm routing for ya'

 

BTW- I understand, I had to cancel my cat trip to BC on january 9th.  As you know, they are getting pounded in the Kooteney's.  Oh well, next season.  



Got on my stationary bike today and knee felt better, just did 10 min.  Will see doc again mon or tuesday.   Talked to Paula Gaul Big Red Cats and she recommended we go ahead and reschedule from 3&4 to 17&18, heavy powder as she described.  I am hoping the knee can be ok by then or before.  Oviously not as serious as yours you have my full empathy.  thanks for advice, I will follow and good luck.

 

post #41 of 59

I tore both ACL's, one in 1987 and and the other in 1988, and had reconstruction done on both. I used braces, the latest cti2 lites, but stopped wearing them this year. I feel much better without them. I think the most important thing is to have the reconstruction and workout to stay strong.

post #42 of 59
Thread Starter 

ouch! Foolhardy?  We both know if this was you, you would probably already be skiing biggrin.gif

 

 

BUT- yes, there are actually a couple of seats open. If anyone is interested, let me know. This is for Wildhorse Powder mining and cat skiing in Ymir (just outside Nelson BC) you fly into Spokane and then drive about 3 hours. IF you survive the obnoxious border patrol, it's a fairly easy drive.  They had 3 feet of fresh this week alone.  Small operation; you stay in "town" in a converted historic inn.  Very basic but the food is very good and the Ymir Palace owners can't be more accommodating, friendly and actually local ski Icons.  Lunch is basically a frozen sandwich in between runs. IMHO, a perfect trip. You are there to ski steep powder.  Terrain is accessed via sleds and then to the cat on old logging roads. Advanced skiers and up only. I think it's about $400 including meals and lodging 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post


 

See, that word, "cancel" -- it won't start snowing in CO until you give up this foolhardy plan to continue skiing! This is NO way to be a proper sacrifice....

 

(Wait, does that mean there is an open spot on a cat in BC on Jan 9??)



 

post #43 of 59
Thread Starter 

OK, lots of great help here. I am going to call my ortho and see if he can prescribe me a Ossur Cti.  Unless he thinks there's something better, this one seems to be a great brace

 

http://www.ossur.com/?PageID=13881

post #44 of 59

Thanks for all info everyone, Epic is cool.  Will check with doc. on braces.  Knee better today but not good for sure, wish I was skiing today though.

post #45 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

ouch! Foolhardy?  We both know if this was you, you would probably already be skiing biggrin.gif

 

 


 



lol. (As background, my husband was skiing within a week of doing his, but he apparently had some extraordinary stability, and not all the other issues Finn did, with ankle and shoulder)

post #46 of 59

I ski with a brace.

 

Without the brace I'm on blues and any turn that's agressive agrevates the knee as it's unstable.

 

With the brace I'm on the blacks, moguls, etc. 

 

The reason I ended up with a brace was two years ago I was going to get back into skiing and after going out I realized my old knee injury had left my knee unstable.

Went to the doctor and he said my ACL was gone.  He did an Xray and said I also have severe arthritis and asked how much pain meds I was taking.  He was shocked to learn

I never take anything for pain.  He said an ACL reconstruction would change that, and told me the next time he saw me would be for a TK replacement.  Nice.

 

"What about skiing?" I asked him.  He laughed at this fool and suggested an ACL brace and he prescribed a Don-Joy.  It unloads the compartment with the arhtritis.  I ski'id last year after a 30 year layoff and progressed from blues to double blacks.  

 

The brace works wonders for me.

 

post #47 of 59

Since this thread got locked....

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/121481/skiing-with-a-custom-fitted-knee-brace#post_1611805

 

...for the benefit of the OP of that thread, perhaps the discussion can continue here. 

post #48 of 59
I blew my ACL 40 years ago before here really was any realistic ACL replacement surgery. Starts with a tear and after several more injuries it separated. Since I first hurt it I've been wearing a brace.

Last year, I had a knee injury that took me back to the surgeon because I had symptoms that looked like it might be some meniscus damage. Turns out it wasn't but was something more arcane that could only happen to a person without an ACL PT was the solution.

Anyhow the current thinking is that there is little benefit gained from a brace. Apparently the statistics show little difference in knee injury with or without. That said, my surgeon was surprised by the "pristine" nature of my ACL-less knee. Meniscus was better than most people my age with an ACL. I have worn a brace religiously since I was originally hurt though and intend to keep doing so since it apparently works ... for me.

Anyhow, I've pretty much had them all. They all were about the same except for the Lennox-Hill in which I actually tore the remaining ACL. I currently have Air Townsend and seem to like that the best.

What really helps though is exercise. I can notice no difference in skiing with or without a brace and my surgeon (two of them) cannot tell without an MRI which one has the ACL and which does not. I bike like crazy in the off season and I think that makes the difference.

For what it's worth, my most recent injury was a stretch to the IT band that puts a huge load on the popelitus muscle at the back of the knee. Guess what the treatment is? Yep-PT to strengthen the muscle support around the knee and to balance front and back side groups. There really is no replacement for proper strength around the knee. In order to get it right spend some time with a PT that specializes in knees. Getting the balance right is tricky.
post #49 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post

I blew my ACL 40 years ago before here really was any realistic ACL replacement surgery. Starts with a tear and after several more injuries it separated. Since I first hurt it I've been wearing a brace.

Last year, I had a knee injury that took me back to the surgeon because I had symptoms that looked like it might be some meniscus damage. Turns out it wasn't but was something more arcane that could only happen to a person without an ACL PT was the solution.

Anyhow the current thinking is that there is little benefit gained from a brace. Apparently the statistics show little difference in knee injury with or without. That said, my surgeon was surprised by the "pristine" nature of my ACL-less knee. Meniscus was better than most people my age with an ACL. I have worn a brace religiously since I was originally hurt though and intend to keep doing so since it apparently works ... for me.

Anyhow, I've pretty much had them all. They all were about the same except for the Lennox-Hill in which I actually tore the remaining ACL. I currently have Air Townsend and seem to like that the best.

What really helps though is exercise. I can notice no difference in skiing with or without a brace and my surgeon (two of them) cannot tell without an MRI which one has the ACL and which does not. I bike like crazy in the off season and I think that makes the difference.

For what it's worth, my most recent injury was a stretch to the IT band that puts a huge load on the popelitus muscle at the back of the knee. Guess what the treatment is? Yep-PT to strengthen the muscle support around the knee and to balance front and back side groups. There really is no replacement for proper strength around the knee. In order to get it right spend some time with a PT that specializes in knees. Getting the balance right is tricky.

Thanks for sharing your story.  Always good to hear from successful "copers," meaning those who are doing what they want minus an ACL.  I've been in that category for a bit over a year.  Did the PT consistently and then lots more ski conditioning in the fall than before.  Had a great ski season, my best ever as an advanced skier.  Been rock climbing more too.

 

My surgeon said a brace wouldn't make much difference except for making hyperextension impossible.  After a careful start back on the slopes, I decided I'd do without since I don't ski that aggressively anyway.  In particular, no interest in jumping off anything.  Soon after I had a lesson from a Level 3 instructor with his own knee story . . . no ACL for about five years, no surgery, no brace after one ski season . . . and he's a physical therapist for his day job.

 

Every knee situation is different.  Definitely more than one way to keep skiing.

post #50 of 59

My knee is a bit more complicated than the standard ACL tear.  It started that way late Feb 2010 on Jitterbug at Alta.  I tore my R ACL and had a large bucket handle tear of the medial meniscus.  It was repaired with a patellar autograft by a pretty experienced and well respected, sports medicine fellowship trained surgeon.  My progress after the initial repair was slow with limited range of motion and lots of stiffness.  

 

After about 8 months the pain, swelling and stiffness worsened.  MRI showed that the meniscus repair did not take which is not uncommon for someone my age.  Early Jan 2011 I had a scope to remove the meniscus and clean everything up.  Post-op my progress was again slow and I had some unusual complications.  

 

Another 8-9 months pass, my knee starts to fee worse and I develop a large cyst on the outer aspect of my knee.  March 2012 I'm back in the OR for cyst removal and scope to clean things out.  This surgery is with the chief of sports medicine at the most highly respected sports medicine and orthopedics program in Chicago.  Intraoperative cultures show the cyst is possibly due to a very unusual fungus.  My surgeon is not convinced that the cyst is connected to the knee.  I see and infectious disease specialist who is also not convince but concerned.  I take an antifungal for 4 weeks.  More weird complications plus, after initial improvement, the knee gets worse.  

 

We move to Denver.  I see one of the surgeons at the Steadman Clinic in Vail who isn't sure what's going on with my knee.  Eventually, I get to a nationally renown limb preservation specialist who is convinced based on my most recent CT scan and MRI that I have a fungal infection in my knee which was probably seeded during the 1st surgery and has been brewing for 3 years.  The fungus has been eating away at the bone and cartilage and I have a number of holes or cysts in my distal femur and patella.  The treatment is surgical removal of the ACL graft, debridement of all infected bone and tissue and packing the holes in the bone with antifungal in fused cement.  Back to the OR 01/2013 for the big procedure.  Since surgery the knee is slowly getting better.  There still stiffness but no instability.  I'm on a high dose antifungal for a year plus regular blood work to make sure the fungus stays away.  I'm hiking, weight training and biking but no impact activities yet.  I don't think I'd be able to run or do much high impact anyway.  My most recent surgeon is recommending I wear a custom fitted brace to protect my knee since I no longer have an ACL and since my bone is probably 10-15% weaker due to the cysts.  So, in about 2 months I'll be fitted for the brace.  I'm hoping for my 1st complete ski season in 4 winters.  That's my long, complicated story.

post #51 of 59

Best of luck, Prosper.  Glad someone finally figured out what was up with your knee.

post #52 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prosper View Post
 

My knee is a bit more complicated than the standard ACL tear.  It started that way late Feb 2010 on Jitterbug at Alta.  I tore my R ACL and had a large bucket handle tear of the medial meniscus.  It was repaired with a patellar autograft by a pretty experienced and well respected, sports medicine fellowship trained surgeon.  My progress after the initial repair was slow with limited range of motion and lots of stiffness.  

 

After about 8 months the pain, swelling and stiffness worsened.  MRI showed that the meniscus repair did not take which is not uncommon for someone my age.  Early Jan 2011 I had a scope to remove the meniscus and clean everything up.  Post-op my progress was again slow and I had some unusual complications.  

 

Another 8-9 months pass, my knee starts to fee worse and I develop a large cyst on the outer aspect of my knee.  March 2012 I'm back in the OR for cyst removal and scope to clean things out.  This surgery is with the chief of sports medicine at the most highly respected sports medicine and orthopedics program in Chicago.  Intraoperative cultures show the cyst is possibly due to a very unusual fungus.  My surgeon is not convinced that the cyst is connected to the knee.  I see and infectious disease specialist who is also not convince but concerned.  I take an antifungal for 4 weeks.  More weird complications plus, after initial improvement, the knee gets worse.  

 

We move to Denver.  I see one of the surgeons at the Steadman Clinic in Vail who isn't sure what's going on with my knee.  Eventually, I get to a nationally renown limb preservation specialist who is convinced based on my most recent CT scan and MRI that I have a fungal infection in my knee which was probably seeded during the 1st surgery and has been brewing for 3 years.  The fungus has been eating away at the bone and cartilage and I have a number of holes or cysts in my distal femur and patella.  The treatment is surgical removal of the ACL graft, debridement of all infected bone and tissue and packing the holes in the bone with antifungal in fused cement.  Back to the OR 01/2013 for the big procedure.  Since surgery the knee is slowly getting better.  There still stiffness but no instability.  I'm on a high dose antifungal for a year plus regular blood work to make sure the fungus stays away.  I'm hiking, weight training and biking but no impact activities yet.  I don't think I'd be able to run or do much high impact anyway.  My most recent surgeon is recommending I wear a custom fitted brace to protect my knee since I no longer have an ACL and since my bone is probably 10-15% weaker due to the cysts.  So, in about 2 months I'll be fitted for the brace.  I'm hoping for my 1st complete ski season in 4 winters.  That's my long, complicated story.

Wow ... sorry to hear all that. Is a knee replacement in the cards, or will it matter?

post #53 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
 

Wow ... sorry to hear all that. Is a knee replacement in the cards, or will it matter?

 

Maybe.  It depends on how my knee if feeling.  Thankfully, during my last operation less cartilage had to be removed than my surgeon initially thought would be necessary.  It's been about 8 months since surgery and will take a full year to heal completely.  Given the fungal infection no one wants to put anything remotely foreign into my knee for at least a year post-op.  I'm not enthusiastic about a knee replacement since I'm pretty young (43yo) and like to be pretty active running, skiing, biking, weight training and playing soccer.  Sadly, I haven't really been able to do many of those things over the past few years.  So far I'm continuing to improve so there's progress.  I'm cautiously optimistic.

post #54 of 59

Prosper,

Couple things.  I wear two braces skiing.  Not so much because of why most would think, but as an exoskeleton.  I don't know why but my knees tend to swell.  They don't hurt really.  Just swell.  I've found that with the Opedix compression tights and a knee brace, I can ski all day, day after day.  This works for me perfectly.  At times it is tedious and I can ski without them,  but I've skied with them so much, it isn't an issue.  As far as I can tell, there is no impact to how I ski.  The Opedix and BREG braces have been the combination that work for me.  Keeps the knees from swelling, needing ice or me taking pills.

 

If you read this review on the Opedix tights,  http://www.epicski.com/products/opedix-s1-ski-and-board-tights/reviews/2677 you'll get all the info you want about my opinion on the Opedix tights.  I'm not the same as you, but definitely have issues.  No ACL left side and cadaver right side and even if I don't wear the brace, I will wear the tights.

 

As others have stated, PT is your friend.  That and cycling.  I got a recumbent stationary so I can do it year round.  There is something about cycling that knees likes.

 

The bosu ball is also beneficial. 

 

What happened to your knee makes me think what the surgeon said to me on my left knee after a failed attempt (had arthrofibrosis) "There's nothing surgery can't make worse."

 

You should also do a search here about skiing after an injury.  Folks tend to be tentative.   It will come back but can be quite the head game. 

 

I had to keep trying different things and listening to what "my" body wanted.  Just because it works for someone on the internet doesn't mean it will for you.

 

Be patient and keep working it.  As long as you keep at it, you'll find what works.

 

Heal well,

Ken

post #55 of 59

For what it's worth I had a pretty bad early season injury this year - fracture tibia, torn meniscus, torn ACL and torn MCL.  Three months and two surgeries later I finally have the green light to walk without a brace on dry, level surfaces.  I can't imagine how skiing would be possible at this point - let alone prior to getting the new ACL.

post #56 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post
 

I got a recumbent stationary so I can do it year round.  There is something about cycling that knees likes.

 

 

You're fortunate; herself went through six frames and three bike fitters before she found/built up one bike that doesn't give her Easter knees year-round. 

post #57 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaybirdfive View Post
 

For what it's worth I had a pretty bad early season injury this year - fracture tibia, torn meniscus, torn ACL and torn MCL.  Three months and two surgeries later I finally have the green light to walk without a brace on dry, level surfaces.  I can't imagine how skiing would be possible at this point - let alone prior to getting the new ACL.

 

Wow!  That sucks. All I can say is that my one crash resulted in 3 surgeries as well (ACL, hip, shoulder). It was (and still is to some extent) very challenging and it took a toll on me mentally and of course physically.  Take one step at a time, one day at a time. It can be maddening and very frustrating. Look for the signs of depression and when you just want it all to stop; you get tired of the pain and not being able to do the things you love (Or even just going out to the super market) . Communicate and being aware is hugely helpful to catch yourself before things get worse.  Make sure you are keeping in touch with your PT about your progress and your personal goals in addition to when things aren't going well.  They can be very helpful with helping out by changing up things and helping you to stay on course. For instance, I really wanted to be able to ride my mountain bike and hike, they set up different protocols to help get me to those goals (albeit on a limited basis).  Just keep in the mind the long run; its not going to heal up and get better in a moment, so try to refocus. It is crazy though, it takes a flash, a moment to create all this damage.  Hang in there!  Post up here on what's going on.  It helps.      my crash was in 2011 when I started this thread. I'll ski 40 plus days this season. 

post #58 of 59
post #59 of 59

You might want to consider the OSSUR CTI - which I ski with and now better half does.  It is also featured up on the carousel. I  actually have a non functional ACL on my left leg and ski with braces on both legs. I look at it like a helmet for the knees.  FYI - our videos are not your typical ski edit - these are stories and are edited, narrated etc. Maybe this episode might inspire some on this thread. 

 

This is the latest on her ACL Prehab recovery -  

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