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Advanced Skier- Scared to Go Back

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hi Everybody-

                    I have been an advanced skier for many years. However I am in my teens. I do moguls/ATP, not racing. I recently had a serious ankle injury and I am in a cast and haven't walked in 9 weeks. There is a good chance I can start up again in Jan. of 2014. However, I am very scared to go back. If anybody has been through something similar or knows somebody who had this problem, please reply to this post.

                                                                                                                     Thanks COskier1

post #2 of 21

I'd rely on what my ortho/doc says.  If they're good with you to go, then I wouldn't fret overly.  What was the injury, boots are pretty protective.    Certainly if serious you have Physical Therapy set up and if not, might be good to get a set of workouts to improve or hasten the healing, strength, etc.

 

good luck!

pete

post #3 of 21

You're young, healthy, skilled skier and ankle injuries are not part of skiing, knee, thumb and shoulder are the skiing problem areas.

 

You'll heal up well.  If they put in screws or plates, talk to your ortho doc about it as ankle has lots of movement.  Depending on location of metal, he might want to take it out and give the bone time to fill in before ski season starts.

 

As noted, do what your ortho doc tells you and start planning your next year's skiing.
 

post #4 of 21
I've been skiing since 1945. In 1996, I ruptured an Achilles tendon on the third day of the season and spent the six months after the surgical repair in casts and walking boots. I was a bit tentative my first run or two of the next season but soon forgot about it. Last year, on my 51st day of skiing, I was taken out by another skier and ended up with multiple fractures of a tibia plateau (bottom of the knee joint). Again, I was tentative at first, but now I'm only reminded of the plate and screws in my leg if I hit some bumpy hard snow while turning with that the dominantly weighted leg.

You'll get over it!!
post #5 of 21

If you have some hardware in there, go to a credible boot fitter ahead of time. (Looks like you're from Colorado. I went to Larry's Boot Fitter in Boulder.) My hardware was on the lateral malleolus (outside of the ankle) and did not mix well with ski boots. I had some issues with a screw backing out so my hardware was removed. But a boot footer could work on blowing out that section of the boot to more evenly distribute the pressure. I opted for FullTilt that have the custom fit liners. Others choose Intuition liners to go into their current boots. My focus was just on comfort. I'm probably triple your age, so our goals were surely a bit different. :)

 

You're time table is excellent--you're obviously not trying to push getting onto the snow too soon and you are being patient. You have lots of time for physical therapy and conditioning. Ease into all of your regular activities and listen to your ankle. You will be just fine.

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 

BTW there are no screws or anything so that's not a problem. 

post #7 of 21
That's great news, COSkier. I made the wrong assumption that you had surgery. What did you break? Tibia? Fibula?
post #8 of 21

It's going to take some time building up the strength and confidence back to what you had before.  Take it slow and easy and work on your skill set especially the balance and so on.  By doing the easy drills, you will find the confidence increases and you start to ski better and the upwards sprial starts.

 

Been in the same boat years ago, it just takes some time and you will likely come out further ahead than you were before because of the focused effort you are putting in.  Strange as it sounds you will likely be a lot better skier when this is all over.

 

Good luck.

post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 

The problem is a fusing of ankle bones not broken according to the MRI I used to do a lot of jumping but not in the past few years. No hardware yet. Thanks for help. Keep adding

post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by COskier1 View Post

Hi Everybody-
I have been an advanced skier for many years. However I am in my teens. I do moguls/ATP, not racing. I recently had a serious ankle injury and I am in a cast and haven't walked in 9 weeks. There is a good chance I can start up again in Jan. of 2014. However, I am very scared to go back. If anybody has been through something similar or knows somebody who had this problem, please reply to this post.
Thanks COskier1

 

 

Adhere to the following and you will have no problem re-entering skiing.  When your doc. says get into rehab. and make sure you get a specialist that either skis or is very familiar with skiing dynamics etc.  Follow the rehabs directions and begin your leg/ankle work.  If the specialist doesn't - lst thing - compare the strength and range of motion between your two legs then you should prob ably get another technician.  Begin working and adding strength and dexterity exercises every week.  After you feel normal get the two legs checks again for range of motion and strength, when they are the same start adding your own work.  Bike riding, hiking etc. etc. I guarantee if you really put in some work this summer you will be very anxious for winter and more skiing.

 

Worked for me, more than once.  Good Luck and make the summer fun while rebuilding the ankle/leg.

post #11 of 21

I had a spiral of both my tibia and fibula when I was 12.  It happened skiing.  It took me about 6 months to get over it and I was in a cast for 14 weeks, not a walking one either.  I still find myself with a little reticence at times (probably a good thing) but I've been skiing for 47 seasons since then without any other major injuries.  Being scared has nothing to do with reality so it's hard to deal with.  Sometimes if we just go ahead and do the thing we're scared of doing the fear abates.  Hang in there and get back at it when you can.  Ease into things and tell yourself that it's much safer than riding a bike.  Soon you'll be tearing it up again.

 

Also, hang out with people your own age who are stoked on skiing.  There's nothing like a little peer pressure (don't let this go overboard) to help us get over a hump like that.

post #12 of 21

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. However, I do have a psych background, and am a ski instructor/race coach. 

 

Sorry to hear you had an injury. At some point, most of us have had some kind of injury or other. You now have 11 months to get into a positive frame of mind and to heal.

 

In the upcoming months, visualize all the successes you had skiing. Picture all your good runs. Watch videos of successful skiing. Focus on what you can do, and focus on the fun you've had skiing. See a sports physio regularly (make sure it's a sports physio) and get a rehab program with exercises. When your doctor and physiotherapist permit you to do so, and if you're financially able, get a gym membership and work with a trainer on strength training. Keep it safe--the goal isn't to become Arnold; it's to build some strength and confidence.

 

When you get back on the snow, build a series of successes for yourself, moving from the easiest terrain up to more complex terrain. 

 

One injury is a drop in the bucket. You can definitely come back from this!

post #13 of 21

I have broken a bone here and there.  It happens.   If you want to be back on the snow, you will be back.  It is that simple.  Instead of worrying about the past, make a plan for your future.  Come up with a schedule for getting back to the snow.  Perhaps you can loosely copy a getting back to the snow routine from a favorite skier on the US Ski Team (while following your doctors advice)  More importantly, turn this negative into a positive.  Your leg is in a cast?  Then that gives you more time for reading, schoolwork, exploring a new hobby, etc.  In other words, make good use of the time. 
 

post #14 of 21

I would not worry too much about a broken bone they heal with time. It will take some mental fortitude to get back on the Horse. I died Feb.17 2013 @ 2pm from a Heart attach but by the grace of god and modern medical technology I am here and in 2 weeks will try to ski again. Make every turn count.

post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post

I would not worry too much about a broken bone they heal with time. It will take some mental fortitude to get back on the Horse. I died Feb.17 2013 @ 2pm from a Heart attach but by the grace of god and modern medical technology I am here and in 2 weeks will try to ski again. Make every turn count.

Sheesh slider!  Glad your ticker is still ticking!

post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagles Pdx View Post

...and ankle injuries are not part of skiing, knee, thumb and shoulder are the skiing problem areas.

My wife who broke her ankle skiing last season would probably disagree! I also thought it would be tough or impossible to break an ankle in ski boots, but she did a medium sized jump, didn't speed check, took off like a bat out of hell and then freaked out just after realizing she was seriously airborne and twisted he body sideways. Oops!

All that being said, and to the OP, ankle injuries are rare indeed while skiing and I think you will be fine...it's much more mental than physical
post #17 of 21

I experienced this  after a knee sprain, as did my husbsand after back surgery. The timidity that is. After I had recovered from the injury, i went skiing but just could not let the skiing be loose or free and i was (ee gad) bored! I was so devastated that my favorite obsession was going to be stolen from me. Both my husband and I took a private lesson and that's what brought each of us back. It has something to do (i think) with relinquishing the responsibility for the decision of where and how to ski to someone else. Anyhow, it worked for us.

 

Good luck friend. I promise after a while it''ll all come back.

post #18 of 21
I had a double spiral Tib/Fib at the end of the 11/12 season.

600x450px-LL-5425866c_2012-03-08112206.jpeg

I had the same kind of mental problem coming back to skiing you are talking about.

Talk to your ski school. A good instructor will set you up for success when you come back. I can't give my instructors enough credit for what they did for me.

As an extra for you... after my injury, I couldn't ski like I used to. I was forced to switch from being a "power/strength" skier to a "finesse" skier. My accident was probably the best thing that could have ever happened to my skiing. And again, I owe a lot of it to my instructors.

Look at this as an opportunity and take advantage of it. You might not just come back, but you might be a lot better off for it.

Best of luck to you!
post #19 of 21

Lots of great advice here I see!

 

I had a tibial plateau fracture and when I returned to skiing the next year

it wasn't until I was on the chair lift that I got that sinking feeling of anxiety.

I skied down and it was fun.  It only lasted for a short while - about half a chair lift

ride.  I think I wished I had gone up the bunny hill for the first ride down.

It turned out I didn't have any trouble at all!

 

I think getting in the best shape possible will give you reassurance to

say to yourself you can do this.

 

The other thing was that there was no chance I was going to let this

knee break take away my favorite thing to do.

It doesn't hurt when you have a surgeon who is the most positive

minded person around - like I did.

post #20 of 21

+1. If you want to ski, you will make it back. Physically there is no reason you won't recover to pre-injury levels - you're a teen, you have good bones. Unlike this old guy who has metal in both his legs. I was in a cast for 8wks followed by another 8wks of rehab last season. 

 

Mentally the biggest hurdle is wanting to get back out there. But when the snow started falling and the powder reports started coming in this winter, I was psyched to get on my skis. 2014 is a ways out there, take the time to rehab, get strength training and mobility on that ankle and keep in shape through the summer. Do dry land training, weights, whatever to simulate skiing. Find a rehab specialist who specializes in sports physio; they will be more sympathetic to your goals and design a program for skiing, as opposed to say simply walking again. I recommend Rocky Mountain Sport and Spine in Denver.

 

Like the previous poster, I've had to adapt my technique from strength to finesse. But the upside is I don't get as tired since my fundamentals are more solid.

post #21 of 21

After a day back on skis you'll be out there having a great time and wondering why was I even stressing about that!

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