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Skiing after ACL tear pool

Poll Results: I have (medically) confirmed ACL tear and

 
  • 31% (5)
    I ski as aggressive as before (moguls, off piste, backcountry, free skiing) WITHOUT ACL reconstruction
  • 0% (0)
    I ski but only on piste and easy (blue - green) lines only WITHOUT ACL reconstruction
  • 50% (8)
    After MY ACL RECONSTRUCTION I ski as aggressive as before (moguls, off piste, backcountry, free skiing)
  • 6% (1)
    After MY ACL RECONSTRUCTION I ski but only on piste and easy (blue - green) lines
  • 0% (0)
    I had to stop skiing after MY ACL RECONSTRUCTION
  • 0% (0)
    I did not have ACL reconstruction and I've stopped skiing
  • 12% (2)
    I still have my ACL intact :)
16 Total Votes  
post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

as many of you I've also done my ACL and I'm reading trough articles and form posts. 

 

There are many references to people who ski without ACL (or with a severe ACL tear) - without reconstruction. 

 

I was wondering what are "really" % of people who do not have reconstruction and still ski.

 

p.s. Please answer for your self not for someone you heard about... 

post #2 of 14

I've gone around 17 years without an ACL.  I don't ski as hard as I used to (I'll be 60 soon), but yes, I've done powder, races,  moguls, backcountry, and patrolled, hauling 250 lb people in toboggans, just fine.

 

It is a bit achier than the other knee, and a few years ago I started wearing an off the counter brace.   That was on the advice of a US Ski team doc, who did not recommend surgery.  One day last year I started to put the brace on the wrong knee, but that may say more about my deteriorating brain than the knee.

 

Among my friends, I can find every result in your survey, including multiple unsuccessful operations.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi, thanks for replays and votes.

 

On two forums (the other is at snowheads.com) we have 10 out of 16 votes for "After ACL RECONSTRUCTION I ski as aggressive as before" and one "skiing the same without surgery" (thanks newfydog). 

 

 

V.

post #4 of 14
I skied aggressively after my acl injury, but did additional damage and eventually had to get it fixed. On the other hand I did not stay in shape. Post surgery I rehabbed hard and plan to ski hard.
post #5 of 14

Had my left ACL reconstructed; skiing as aggressively (no brace, backcountry mostly).  A year later, last March, tore right ACL but did not have it repaired (excellent stability, lots of PT, brace) and ski on and off piste but for now not as aggressively as before.  Male 51 y.o.

post #6 of 14

I'm actually skiing more aggressively after popping off an ACL (not skiing).  Formal PT for knee rehab led to much more emphasis on ski conditioning, including working regularly with a personal trainer.  Haven't been as strong as I am now since high school.  Also have been actively working on improving technique with the help of high level instructors.  I'm over 50 but plan to keep skiing for another 20-30 years . . . or more.

 

For more than you want to know . . . here is my story of becoming a "coper" who enjoys advanced skiing and intermediate rock climbing without an ACL.  I came across plenty of stories of folks without an ACL not only on ski forums, but also rock climbing, biking, and other sports that do not require cutting/pivoting.  Those who want to continue with basketball, soccer, tennis . . . that's a different issue.

 

http://www.theskidiva.com/forums/index.php?threads/learning-to-be-a-coper-without-an-acl.14847/

 

Every knee injury is different.  It's not really about the ACL, but all the other parts of the knee that are often damaged at the same time.  Getting advice from an ortho specialist is important, as is getting an MRI.  Note that as long as you aren't doing something that is likely to cause further damage, there is little downside to doing PT and taking a little while to make a decision about ACLr surgery.

post #7 of 14

I have not had an ACL in my left knee for many years.

You can't listen to other people about the ACL. Some people are completely unstable without an ACL and some are completely stable.

I am a really tight person when it comes to flexibility. My natural tightness really helps.

I have had several doctors test my knee for stability and they cannot believe how stable I am without my ACL.

post #8 of 14

had meniscus surgery in '96.  i elected to do procedure awake with spinal.  At that time the doctor showed me my non functional ACL on the scope.   He suggested (he was also a skier) that with exercise i could live a normal ski life.   I agree with the previous post concerning the positive side of the injury; because i have to exercise to maintain the muscles around the knee....i have to remain active which makes me stronger and healthier than i was 25 years ago.   I wear a brace every ski day, but by now it is more of a lucky amulet...i actually like wearing it.   I ski 50- 70 days a year and i have to report that the MORE i ski, the better the knee feels.

post #9 of 14

OK, I think I should elaborate more on my situation and contribute with my story as this forum has been a great resource of information and inspiration for me.  I ruptured my left ACL in April 2011 by an innocuous movement of my knee while coming to a stop.  This was in a backcountry terrain.  No pain, just felt a pop in my knee, not much swelling, skied off the mountain, only certain movements were painful.  After getting diagnosis, I decided to go for surgery which was done in April 2011. I did not have any instability episodes before surgery.  Recovery from surgery was long and painful and I started skiing after about 12 months (we ski here year-round). 

 

In March 2013, I fell over back of my ski in a deep powder (Phantom Foot fall) and felt a weak pop but I knew right away what happened.  Again skied off the mountain but this time I had a lot of swelling, a large bruise and little more pain, but again no instability.  After getting a diagnosis, I decided to wait before committing to surgery (with which the doctor enthusiastically agreed) and did fairly aggressive PT  (Olympic Physical Therapy in Seattle, great people).  I also decided that if the knee showed any instability during everyday activity, I would go for surgery but it did not so far.  I started skiing in June (with a Donjoy brace) and have been slowly ramping up as of now in January 2014; I also need some work on my skiing form as the backcountry skiing is not very good for that so I now ride lifts more often with my daughter.

 

As velox313 above says every person's situation is different but it is encouraging to read that many people go on skiing without ACL, and that this deficiency actually encourages one to keep in shape.  And I have to say - the knee that was operated on feels worse than the other one and I think in ten years I will have arthritis in it.  So it is useful to realize the surgery is not an automatic answer to ACL injury, even if one wants to remain active, unless it clearly is indicated by functional deficiency.


Edited by ps44 - 1/31/14 at 11:45am
post #10 of 14

A lot of the decision on whether to repair the ACL will come from your stability and what other injuries occurred--did you also tear the meniscus and/or other ligaments? It's a very individual thing.

post #11 of 14

I had a knee reconstruction following a basketball incident. My knee was not lax at all so I kept playing a couple of time as I went to see a physio who thought it was a bad bruise (big mistake) as from that I picked up 2 more small lateral tears.

 

When my surgeon operated on me he left the 2 lateral tears in situ and he found a 1.2 cm posterior horn medial meniscus tear also left in situ.

 

My main worry is now I have a good ACL and going through the rehab protocol but what does that all these tears means for the development of OA in the near future. I am 43 years old, I ski 2 weeks a year and the ACL rehab doesn't afraid me but OA scares me to death.

 

Anyone with similar experience ? I don't have OA or family history of it.I am happy to give up basketball , too risky now. Stick to cycling which I already do a lot. I am assuming that tears left in situ are much better to protect the join than a partial menisectomy . Can I develop join space narrowing with small tears left in situ ?

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ps44 View Post
 

Had my left ACL reconstructed; skiing as aggressively (no brace, backcountry mostly).  A year later, last March, tore right ACL but did not have it repaired (excellent stability, lots of PT, brace) and ski on and off piste but for now not as aggressively as before.  Male 51 y.o.


Did you have any meniscus damage ? I tore mine with some meniscus damage and that makes a lot of difference

post #13 of 14

Nope - no damage other than the ACL.  Still no issues with knee stability, if I had any (or additional injury such as , I would go for reconstruction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fabienzan View Post
 


Did you have any meniscus damage ? I tore mine with some meniscus damage and that makes a lot of difference


Nope, no other damage than torn ACL.  Yes, my understanding is you are correct, if there is additional damage things become much more difficult and I would probably opt for a reconstruction.

post #14 of 14

I have both ACLs reconstructed,  with meniscus damage repair. Both knees feel stronger than with original ACL. While waiting for surgery skied with generation 2 brace, found it supportive enough in softer snow only. knee would torque when aggressively skiing hardpack. Also tore both Achilles surgically repaired, two discotomies, and one collarbone fracture repaired with plate. all good now, skiing as hard as I like at 54 yrs. Modern medicine!!!

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