I saw the ortho today, and the good news is that (provided the MRI doesn't show too much collateral damage) he thinks it makes sense to try PT and a brace, and still plan to ski at Big Sky in the spring.
The original injury was at Brighton -- basically I was being afraid of the fall line because the bad visibility on an open, steep slope, and I caught my tail. I felt something go out and back, but I didn't even fall. Took it easy for a couple runs, but skied the rest of the week.
But it felt better in a couple weeks and seemed pretty stable, except for one particular wrong type of twist. About once a year it went out, but only when I loaded it with one particular type of twist, and it didn't seem to be getting any worse. So I figured I'd just live with it. Oh yeah, and my General Practitioner manipulated it at my yearly physical and thought it felt stable.
But then it went out three or four times last year. Once was in deep powder at Jackson Hole -- I got a face shot, and thought that was cool so I exaggerated the turn, loading up my tails, to try to force it. My knee didn't think that was a good idea.
So I was thinking about having it looked at by a specialist. And then in December I was just edging hard (not twisting) and the knee did something new, sort of went sideways, and it hurt again. I didn't even fall this time, either.
Edit -- not that it matters, but checking calendars I think it was actually just under 4 calendar years, or 3 1/2 ski seasons, not 5.
Edited by mdf - 1/12/13 at 9:44am