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My fall and broken tibial plateau- afraid to ski next year

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I started skiing again last year and fell in love with it. 3-4 days a week I'd drive over an hour after work to ski with my little boy who was just learning and loving it. . It was true love and skiing was all I could think about day in to day out. Then, I had terrible luck and fell in a goofy way and broke my tibial plateau. My first words to the ER were - do u think I will be able to ski? No? How about with a brace? No?!! Not for the rest of this season. No. So. 11/2 mo. And a surgery later I am still on crutches. My skis are still in my car as finally accept ( in part because the flowers are blooming) that I won't ski. BUT now after the ordeal I am really afraid to go. I turned 40 on crutches. And it felt like a crashing end to life. I survived it. I am wondering, since the break seemed unwarranted as I wasn't skiing really fast, I just landed wrong, if I am now break prone. I hope to ski again, as my son was with me and I don't want to ruin it for him either... Not to mention it is the first hobby I ever enjoyed so much. . So anyway skiing after a tpf fracture... After 40...everyone I see perfect strangers... Even my dentist feel compelled to comment about how dangerous it is and blah blah this was ur warning stop while ur ahead... Blah blah...
Thanks for any insight!!.
post #2 of 20

Ski next season.  It's in your blood.  You won't regret it.

Treat yourself to lessons and learn how to ski well from the get-go.

post #3 of 20
My wife fractured her tibial plateau at age sixty, also from a weird flukey fall. Her fx was not surgical, and she was back on skis the following season, skiing her usual terrain. She does not even think about it anymore...
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hi LiquidFeet!
Thank you. That already helps:).you are right. I don't think I will regret it too much-even if I do hurt myself again. It is just so much fun. I had been taking lessons and went to some ski clinics. I think that is the scary part for me- it was just such a random fluke the way I fell. But, yes, yes, amen to more lessons because I really really wanted to avoid future flukes !!
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hi blinder!
That is great to hear that she went back to skiing. Was it very hard for her to start again?
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Oh my spell check - bbinder !smile.gif
post #7 of 20

You were a mere babe when you suffered your fracture!  I spent my 54th birthday on crutches ... due to a proximal tibia fracture and a damaged ACL ... from a weird fall while skiing slowly on a very easy trail.  That was the 2011-2012 season (my 2nd day of skiing that year).  I was back to skiing this year.  Due to the compromised ACL, the doctor said I need a brace while skiing.  So I wear one.


You may be nervous when you go back to skiing.  I was.  You may get on here and whimper a bit.  I did.  Things felt a little weird to me due to the brace.  I wasn't sure if it was physical or just mental, so I took a lesson or two and worked on some basics to begin working my way back up, in terms of both skill and confidence.


Don't worry -- you'll be back out there next year, enjoying skiing with your son.  And what you're going through now will fade into the background.


If you need some motivation to get back out there, buy some new skis!

post #8 of 20

Let's see...


At 49 I shattered my ankle in a motorcycle track accident, at 51 I broke a tib fib (motorcycles again). In between I broke a collarbone in a skiing collision. Back on skis this season and thinking.. skiing's a little less dangerous. :D


Go for it, life's short! Spend the time with your son on the slopes!

post #9 of 20

One of my fellow instructors had a tibial plateau fracture this season- not as severe as yours as he felt some pain but continued to ski until the swelling prompted him to go the doctor...after spending some time on crutches, he got cleared to ski April 10th and he was looking better than ever when I skied with him April 16.


I have had 2 ACLs and sometimes feel a bit gun shy myself (avoiding jumps for the most part), but have gotten in close to 100 days this year. Most of the time, I don't even think about it.


If this is the first time you have broken a bone in your life, I doubt your bones are particularly fragile.  Get yourself physically fit over the summer & fall, then go out and enjoy next season.

post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thank you!! I really appreciate your replies. It is the first ever hurt myself. Besides the pain, and inconvenience, it's expensive to break your leg. But, yes MEfree30- it's the first time so it doesn't mean it will necessarily ever happen ever again. That is a good point- conditioning might even have have helped in this situation. Now that i think of it- I just suddenly started skiing all of the time and wasn't doing anything else. ASP125- yes, I never enjoyed life as much as the past 2 years skiing, and then waiting and anticipating skiing- life is to short, but the winters will be long and boring if I sit inside doing nothing- wow you went through a lot. It is inspiring to see how u have repeatedly gotten yourself to return to doing things that you love. Vickieh- thanks! I will ask about a knee brace. Yes, I can imagine the timing of ur accident must have been as painful as the break. I am so glad i found this site. I am feeling more confident that i will get over my fear and ski next year, and feel a lot better in general about the situation after reading what everyone has dealt with and overcome.

So, now to start researching knee braces and conditioning exercises. This will be much more fun than sitting and worrying:)
Thanks again!
post #11 of 20
Originally Posted by jamc12 View Post

Hi blinder!
That is great to hear that she went back to skiing. Was it very hard for her to start again?

She thought about it some, but the first time I suggested that we go skiing after she was healed, she was right there.
post #12 of 20
I broke my tibial plateau 2 years ago, resulting in an operation to install a plate and 7 screws. There was also considerable damage to just about everything in the knee - MCL, ACL, meniscus etc.

Last season I skied with a brace and to be honest I was still not back to full strength. After nearly 3 months on crutches I had lost a lot of muscle and it takes a long time for everything to heal. This season i ditched the brace and felt strong enough to ski aggressively. I competed in several races and took home a win in a super-G.

If you work hard on a program of fitness and strength training over the summer you can be back on snow next season.
post #13 of 20



Just for a little inspiration, this was me heading for second place in another race towards the end of this season.

post #14 of 20
My tibia plateau was in three pieces 12/27/2011 after I was run down from behind (http://www.epicski.com/t/108711/ah-well-oh-crap) and I was on crutches with a brace until at least April after the surgery to insert a plate and a handful of screws, as well as trimming of the meniscus. I returned to skiing last fall and currently have 132 days on skis this winter. I still have a bit of discomfort on hard, bumpy snow and an abnormal concern about being approached from behind by other sliders, but every day out makes me stronger. The muscle they cut off to expose the bone for installing the plate is only partially reattached, and is still growing back. Although I'll still get a few more days this season, I'm looking forward to further strengthening this summer and next year's skiing.

My bindings released and the injury came from rolling on hard snow after being hit in the back. Make sure your bindings have been tested for proper release. During my rehab, I encountered two other folks with the same surgery whose bindings did not release during a fall. Both reported the skis were several years old and had not been tested since new.
post #15 of 20
High five Kneale!
post #16 of 20

JAMC12 - hows the recovery going?


Hyperkub -Question. when you started skiing again, did you make any change in your ski selection (as someone who races )?? I am currently out with tibial spine fracture and torn ACL and MCL. Have a good 11 months to recover before next ski season - which I will start very slowly. My everyday ski currently is the Head i.Titan @ 177cm, and on good days when its slow at the mountain and the conditions are right, I break out my Head i.Speeds @ 180cm (I am 5'9"). Both are pretty heavy skis... both work my knees, and I love the experience putting them on edge and not coming off until its time to stop. 


My concern now is, should I be looking at a shorter and lighter ski with more flex when I finally get back out there?


I honestly wouldn't mind the search for a new ski in the quiver, it would give me something to do this season... but I love my Titans.



post #17 of 20
My experience on returning to skiing was quite counter-intuitive. For the first I changed to a stiffer boot with more forward lean(up from 110 to 130). For the second I found I was most comfortable on a full-on GS ski which was obviously pretty stiff and straight. I didn't ski it that hard or go anywhere very steep at first, just relaxed GS turns using plenty of piste.

So I would start with the i.speeds on easy terrain and on a day when the slopes are empty so that you have room to control your speed by making big round turns without having to work too hard.

Be prepared to go shopping for new boots. You might need a change in stiffness or lean angle to get comfortable and be able to get enough pressure on your shovels. And if you start skiing with a brace make sure your brace/boot selection works well together. You don't want the brace banging against the top of your boot.

post #18 of 20
I also shattered my tibial plateau skiing on Mt. Blanc. I love to ski and also enjoy this sport with my now 20 year old son. I have 4 plates and 16 screws and not sure how fragile. I still have pain (8 months late). I want to ski again, but am afraid. Everyone tells me not to do it. I fell on a little mound of powder. I think if I stay on groomers I'll be okay. Is it all in my head?
post #19 of 20
What does your doctor say? That's the first question. If she thinks it is fine for you to ski, then there isn't any physical issue.

You will then need to decide if skiing is worth it to you. I, myself, cannot imagine not skiing, despite 5 shoulder dislocations, a torn ACL, torn MCL, a bruised liver, and 5 trips down the hill in a sled. But I'm not you.

If you think skiing is important to you and you are physically cleared to ski, then take it easy. Pick a time that is not crowded. Think about taking a lesson with an instructor who is familiar with reintroducing folk to skiing after a serious injury. Don't push it -- remember you are doing it to have fun!

post #20 of 20
I broke my tibial plateau last January. Also, a silly fall at the end of a difficult run off piste. Four plates, 16 screws later and 4 months on crutches I'm walking, running but not at 100% I am 58 and have skied my entire life and don't want to give up. I am disappointed but am not ready this year. Like you, EVERYONE thinks I should give up my skis and are very vocal in their advice. I love the mountains, the snow, the rush of the sport.

Today I'm inspired by Lindsay Vonn and am more determined. I I think it is all a mental game, my leg is reinforced it should be good to go. Will stay on the groomers. If I will ski, you will too.
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