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Skiing with a custom fitted knee brace  

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I've had 4 operations on my R knee in the past 3 years.  I should be able to ski this season but my orthopod has recommended that I wear a custom fitted knee brace for most activities with lateral motion including skiing.  Can anyone who has one of these braces comment on your experience of skiing with it on?  Any tips or things to look out for?

post #2 of 3

I don't ski with a custom fitted one, but I always wear a brace with fixed metal hinges on my left knee.


About 15 years ago now, I fell off a roof, and a hit a sawhorse on the way down. I was trying to get my legs under me as I fell, but what I really did was drive me knee into the sawhorse so hard that It completely sprang the joint and drove a nail that was on the sawhorse through my kneecap. It kind of hurt, and I spent 6 months with a cane, and it impacted my skiing significantly for about the first five years. 


The good news is that all of my ligaments are in place. The bad news is I have a ton of meniscus damage and scar tissue all over the knee. My kneecap is rough with a bunch of scar tissue inside, which makes it not track very well, and the joint pops a lot.


It is worlds better than what it was, but it is still the 1 thing that limits my ski days more than anything else- the knee just gets inflamed/stressed and starts giving out and sending really nasty whiteout-inducing shooting pains when it hits the limit.


Before I went with the metal hinge kind, I had one that had springs for support, and it made the joint too hard to flex, which would wear my knee out faster.


It really helps me to put the brace on right before I go skiing, and to remove it right after. It really tires the leg out if I'm walking around in it all day. This means your wardrobe needs to be such to allow you to get access to the brace at the ski area.


The other thing not brace related- the stronger the muscles around the knee are, the more stable your knee will be.  I've had good experience putting in a lot of time on an exercise bike to tighten up the surrounding muscles in a way that doesn't strain the knee (like heavy lifting can).

post #3 of 3

A variety of opinions about knee braces here:


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