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Not near fatal crash at Steamboat

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hey everybody, somewhat new to these forums. I followed the "near fatal crash at deer valley" thread and found it interesting. So I had a little season ending crash at Steamboat a couple weeks ago, I figure I'd throw it out there to you guys for if I was skiing with in my skill range or trying to be a hero tourist.

 

I hit a an ok size drop towards the end of the day at at the bottom of a run called North Saint Pats. There was probably about 4in fresh snow the night before. My brother and I saw it in the morning and hit that same drop. No one had done it yet and it had a nice soft landing. When we went back to that run in the afternoon we decided to hit it again, I went first since I had a camera now.  I landed fine but other people had done it and the landing was packed down, and being later in the day the snow was heavy. I got a little backseat while turning on the ski out and fell backwards, I was carrying a little more speed then I wanted. I felt a pop in my left knee and thought that didn't feel good, but didn't really hurt that bad either. I did a few more runs and started to get a little sore and it was about time to call it a day anyways. Well things didn't feel that good that night and the next day, turns out I tore up both sides of meniscus and tore my acl. Heres the video

 

Here is a video I made from the day before and earlier that day, if you want to judge my ability level.

 

 

A little more info-

I  have lived in Indiana my whole life I usually get one good ski trip a year 4 or 5 days somewhere out west. I can usually ski about any run on the mountain I just may not look as pro as some other people. Moguls,trees, chutes are all ok...I ski'd Corbits couleir and the rest of Jackson Hole just fine a few years ago.

 

I actually bummed in on this trip last minute with other family that was going out there. I was going to Telluride the next week for my main trip I had planned. I was super excited to get 2 trips this year and to get to check out Telluride for the first time(obviously didn't happen).

 

I just got some new Atomic Alibi skis. I was really feeling good on them compared to my old skis(Dynastar legend 8000s). I had a shop mount my bindings and they set the DIN at 8. I'm a 145lb 28year old I said expert skier. I had my binding set lighter on my old ski's because of knee problems(from other sports). I had since got new knee braces and was feeling good so I let it be since its what they recommended.  

 

I have hit plenty of little drops before. This would be one of the bigger ones I have done.

 

I was wearing a CTI ots knee brace. I had a torn MCL in that knee already, and maybe more damage its had its problems. I feel like it was a pretty small wreck to do all that damage though, but I think the brace still probably helped.

 

Now I'm sitting here just post op. after getting a hamstring graft thinking about it all medicated haha. I guess I feel like I was pushing my ability but not being stupid, and I under-estimated the worse snow conditions in the afternoon. I got a lot of time to sit and ponder it now though. Let me know what you think, sorry if I wrote a book haha. Its always hard to judge one's own true ski ability level, where do you think I'm at?

post #2 of 18

Looks like more than 4' to me!

post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericz721 View Post
 

 

 

 

 

 I can usually ski about any run on the mountain I just may not look as pro as some other people. 

 

 

 

I'm no expert when it comes to watching POV vid to tell what someone is doing wrong, but the sentence above feels telltale. Not everyone can ski like Doug Coombs (did, RIP), but it seems that you can "get down the mountain". Having good form isn't just about pretty, it's about being as fundamentally sound as you can be. If something is missing out of that skillset, then you are going to have problems every now and again. This time it bit you on the ass... or knee. Get well fast and ski within your skillset or find the highest level instructor to take you out to point out what you're doing wrong. I'm doing it my second day out next ski season, as I was not happy with my final day on the slopes two days ago.

post #4 of 18
Google "phantom foot".

I did something similar 3 years ago, dropping a massive three-footer to back-seat landing, and attempted recovery turn, probably with my hips level with, or below my knees.

My then 49 year old knee couldn't withstand the torsional stress, and my knee buckled, rupturing the acl, and tearing the meniscus.
It was only Dec. 2, and my season was over.

Had lots of down time to question what went wrong, but it really boils down to a bad decision with a bad outcome. I've made worse decisions, and been spared the beat-down, and maybe my age was a factor, but mainly my injury was the result of bad mechanics, and no din setting, binding, or brace would likely have prevented it.

Mixed blessing I suppose; the recovery re-ignited my passion for cycling, and eventually for skiing, with every seemingly routine daily occurrence suddenly taking on new significance. First road ride post surgery, first mountain bike ride, first ski run post-op, first bumps post-op, first steeps, first powder, first tour...

It was a year of firsts of doing things that I had been taking for granted for years. I have some residual discomfort when I over-do things, but over-all couldn't be happier with my recovery. I also did a same knee hamstring graft; no brace, weight-bearing within a few days of surgery, and an uneventful rehab.

My internet is spotty at the moment, so I couldn't view all the footage you posted, but the little I saw didn't reveal anything drastically wrong IMO, other than you probably tried to do something you've done successfully 100 times, but on this day you weren't so lucky. ETA; after further review, it looks like you spend a good deal of time skiing above your comfort/skill level. That could be what lead to your injury, or maybe you just got unlucky. Anyway, it couldn't hurt to work on your turns a little more before hucking your meat off anything else.

Look at the bright side; you now belong to a not-so-elite club of acl replacement recipients. Do yourself a favor, and try to avoid becoming a repeat offender; you might do fine with the recovery and rehab, but my biggest fear at this point is that the old injuries, scar-tissue, bone-on-bone wear, arthritis, etc. will make me a prime candidate for a knee replacement in another decade or so. If that's the case, I hope they've developed some Steve Austin style bionics by then that will make me better, faster, stronger... t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t...

Until then, the excuse I use for going small is that I'm in preservation mode.

Good luck with the recovery!
Edited by MT Skull - 3/20/14 at 10:33pm
post #5 of 18

You just about killed 15 people in that video. Slow Down.

 

Good luck with the recovery. Going down in Late March is a helluva lot better than November...

post #6 of 18

only thing i see is that when it gets steep, it looks like you're spending a lot of time sideways - i.e. turn, stop, slide a little, repeat - rather than actually skiing the terrain smoothly. see 0:44-1:06 and 2:45-3:05 for what i'm talking about. but it's hard to tell from the video how steep and bumpy it really is.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by anachronism View Post
 

You just about killed 15 trees in that video. Slow Down.

 

fixed.

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sooneron View Post
 

I'm no expert when it comes to watching POV vid to tell what someone is doing wrong, but the sentence above feels telltale. Not everyone can ski like Doug Coombs (did, RIP), but it seems that you can "get down the mountain". Having good form isn't just about pretty, it's about being as fundamentally sound as you can be. If something is missing out of that skillset, then you are going to have problems every now and again. This time it bit you on the ass... or knee. Get well fast and ski within your skillset or find the highest level instructor to take you out to point out what you're doing wrong. I'm doing it my second day out next ski season, as I was not happy with my final day on the slopes two days ago.

I've never had formal lessons. This is probably a lot better advice then trying to get people to diagnose it over the internet. My brother who I ski with was on his ski team college/former racer. I ask him about form but he never really says too much.

 

MT Skull. I googled phantom foot thats the kind of info I was looking for. It was actually my uphill ski leg that the ACL gave way not down hill though. It seems like a similar scenario. A lot of good info about how to fall out there. Now not going with your natural instinct in real time(if you get yourself in that situation) is probably the hard part. 

 
Tree ski7. Those were "chutes" at that time in the video. I think that was me skiing safe and knowing my limit on steep terrain, even if it means stopping and planning my next turn or two. Thats what I mean it may not look as pretty as other people but to progress you have to be on the harder terrain right? I equate it to I didn't learn calculus by staying in algebra class.
 
So this is the first time I have ever had any major injury in my life, I guess that is why I am questioning it so much. I do lots of high risk sports, mainly motocross is my main sport.I would have much rather been injured in December then March. I think overall I usually have decent judgement since I've never been hurt bad until now. I guess I push it skiing so much since I get to do it so little verses some other sports. I understand its hard to tell from a 3 min POV video.. If I do spend that much time skiing over my head I would much rather know and fix it rather then wait for something bad to happen again.. I don't feel out of control when I ski, maybe I should just stay away from jumps. Thanks for the input.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericz721 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sooneron View Post
 

I'm no expert when it comes to watching POV vid to tell what someone is doing wrong, but the sentence above feels telltale. Not everyone can ski like Doug Coombs (did, RIP), but it seems that you can "get down the mountain". Having good form isn't just about pretty, it's about being as fundamentally sound as you can be. If something is missing out of that skillset, then you are going to have problems every now and again. This time it bit you on the ass... or knee. Get well fast and ski within your skillset or find the highest level instructor to take you out to point out what you're doing wrong. I'm doing it my second day out next ski season, as I was not happy with my final day on the slopes two days ago.

I've never had formal lessons. This is probably a lot better advice then trying to get people to diagnose it over the internet. My brother who I ski with was on his ski team college/former racer. I ask him about form but he never really says too much.

 

MT Skull. I googled phantom foot thats the kind of info I was looking for. It was actually my uphill ski leg that the ACL gave way not down hill though. It seems like a similar scenario. A lot of good info about how to fall out there. Now not going with your natural instinct in real time(if you get yourself in that situation) is probably the hard part. 

 
Tree ski7. Those were "chutes" at that time in the video. I think that was me skiing safe and knowing my limit on steep terrain, even if it means stopping and planning my next turn or two. Thats what I mean it may not look as pretty as other people but to progress you have to be on the harder terrain right? I equate it to I didn't learn calculus by staying in algebra class.
 
So this is the first time I have ever had any major injury in my life, I guess that is why I am questioning it so much. I do lots of high risk sports, mainly motocross is my main sport.I would have much rather been injured in December then March. I think overall I usually have decent judgement since I've never been hurt bad until now. I guess I push it skiing so much since I get to do it so little verses some other sports. I understand its hard to tell from a 3 min POV video.. If I do spend that much time skiing over my head I would much rather know and fix it rather then wait for something bad to happen again.. I don't feel out of control when I ski, maybe I should just stay away from jumps. Thanks for the input.


Welcome to post-injury depression.  It gets' better when you know what it is :D.

 

It might be good to know what put you into that vulnerable position trying to recover from the rumble seat.  If you get airborne gravity is accelerating you straight down while your forward momentum remains only affected by wind resistance.  The longer you stay in the air, the more speed in the vertical (down) direction you gain.  When you land on an angled ramp, all of your velocity, including your new-found downwards speed gets almost instantly translated to velocity along the direction of the ramp.  For example if you hit an icy 45 degree slope while travelling straight down at 30 mph, all of a sudden, if you don't fall, you will be going 30 mph at 45 degrees to the horizontal.  If you are not ready for that you will be left behind by your skis.  You need to compensate by being much more forward.  On the other hand if you are speeding along and land in soft snow on a flat horizontal pitch it will suddenly hold you back.

post #9 of 18

It is always amazing to me how sometimes such a minor error or fall can mess things up so badly, and how sometimes you can have a yard sale crash and get up smiling with no issues.  There is lots of ACL injury information on this site MT Skull's advice about the "phantom foot" was spot on.

 

Get a good surgeon and do the rehab and you will be fine.  Good luck.

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skidding View Post
 

It is always amazing to me how sometimes such a minor error or fall can mess things up so badly, and how sometimes you can have a yard sale crash and get up smiling with no issues.  There is lots of ACL injury information on this site MT Skull's advice about the "phantom foot" was spot on.

 

Get a good surgeon and do the rehab and you will be fine.  Good luck.

Thanks.

 

3 days out of surgery now. Stitched one side of my meniscus and had to remove some of it on the other side. Said my hamstring was barely big enough to qualify for the graf, this guy needs to hit the gym when I heal up haha.

Had 68 degrees of flexion yesterday at my first day of pt. Hobbling on crutches. feeling goodThumbs Up

post #11 of 18

Don't hobble on the crutches; skip.  Two steps with the good foot for every swing with the crutches.  It's much faster.

 

PS. Don't fall skipping along on the crutches.  There's nothing more embarrassing than wiping out on crutches:nono:

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericz721 View Post
Had 68 degrees of flexion yesterday at my first day of pt. Hobbling on crutches. feeling goodThumbs Up

 

Good to hear.  If you feel like it, post on your progress and rehab. Plenty of other skiers on this forum have went through similar experiences.  At your age, you should bounce back pretty fast.

post #13 of 18

I don't see much of anything in either video or  post narrative to indicate skier ability/challenge mismatch or signficant form failure.  I only note skier's somewhat under-average weight and notation as to prior injury on same knee (is that right)?   To me, it seemed like a moderate speed fall with ski's remaining on, which can sometimes torque the knee.   I have seen/experienced much more dramatic than that without injury.

 

My honest guess as to contributing factors are, in no particular order, less than ideal leg condition (not to say you don't work out, you might - but your genetics don't provide the necessary protection in falls at this level of the sport;  #145 is light  - are you a string bean, within a family ancestry of string beans?),  prior injury, and perhaps most of all - bad luck.

 

Get well and back on the slopes soon.

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevescho View Post
 

I don't see much of anything in either video or  post narrative to indicate skier ability/challenge mismatch or signficant form failure.  I only note skier's somewhat under-average weight and notation as to prior injury on same knee (is that right)?   To me, it seemed like a moderate speed fall with ski's remaining on, which can sometimes torque the knee.   I have seen/experienced much more dramatic than that without injury.

 

My honest guess as to contributing factors are, in no particular order, less than ideal leg condition (not to say you don't work out, you might - but your genetics don't provide the necessary protection in falls at this level of the sport;  #145 is light  - are you a string bean, within a family ancestry of string beans?),  prior injury, and perhaps most of all - bad luck.

 

Get well and back on the slopes soon.

Cool. Thats the kind of feedback I was looking for wether good or bad. Its always easier to judge someone else's ability than your own(I think). And yes my legs fall into the string bean category for sure, and its genetic. Most of the 145 pounds is upper body weight. It kind of builds cause when your irritate your knees you exercise them less,they get weaker, then you irritate them easier...and so on.

 

But yea I'm definitely over being bummed. Gonna heal up, think I'm going to hit bicycling pretty hard once I can, since I won't be able to do some of my other sports. Plus I've read some good material on phantom foot how to fall etc. Will be ready to go by next season. Even though skiing took me out I seem to be as much into it as ever haha.

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by MT Skull View Post

Google "phantom foot". Classic phantom foot ACL tear.

 I hope they've developed some Steve Austin style bionics by then that will make me better, faster, stronger. No but we are on 2nd generation total knees that mimic ACL function for people wanting sports participation.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevescho View Post

 

 To me, it seemed like a moderate speed fall with ski's remaining on, which can sometimes torque the knee.   I have seen/experienced much more dramatic than that without injury.

 

I'd agree with that, I think specially during the drop you weren't skiing fast enough to justify an "expert skier" binding setting. It's really a problem when you are going slow we need to make sure we won't fall because it can hurt your knee pretty bad, even when not as bad as a tore acl it can leave you at home for a few weeks!

 

When you come back I'd probably put my bindings back to Type 2 to start and move it up to type 3 if you start pre-releasing. Looks like they are set at 3+ which is definitively not the type of skiing you are doing, I don't mean that in a bad way, but there is no need for most of us to run at type 3+ din.

post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfa81 View Post
 

 

I'd agree with that, I think specially during the drop you weren't skiing fast enough to justify an "expert skier" binding setting. It's really a problem when you are going slow we need to make sure we won't fall because it can hurt your knee pretty bad, even when not as bad as a tore acl it can leave you at home for a few weeks!

 

When you come back I'd probably put my bindings back to Type 2 to start and move it up to type 3 if you start pre-releasing. Looks like they are set at 3+ which is definitively not the type of skiing you are doing, I don't mean that in a bad way, but there is no need for most of us to run at type 3+ din.

 

There is some debate on how well bindings release (or not) in Phantom Foot falls that produce the majority of ACL injuries not matter the DIN settings.

post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfa81 View Post
 

 

I'd agree with that, I think specially during the drop you weren't skiing fast enough to justify an "expert skier" binding setting. It's really a problem when you are going slow we need to make sure we won't fall because it can hurt your knee pretty bad, even when not as bad as a tore acl it can leave you at home for a few weeks!

 

When you come back I'd probably put my bindings back to Type 2 to start and move it up to type 3 if you start pre-releasing. Looks like they are set at 3+ which is definitively not the type of skiing you are doing, I don't mean that in a bad way, but there is no need for most of us to run at type 3+ din.

Yea I am going to back the bindings back down to DIN of 6. That is the lowest they go anyways. Thats where I should be according dincalculator.com using at a 3 ability level. I really wanted it lower but the shop talked me into having it that high... My old ski's were set at six and I don't think I had pre-release problems.

 

I agree none of this is relevant to this wreck though, especially after learning what I have. 

 

Had another day of PT day got 93 degrees of flex. Starting to be able to put weight on it too. Still swollen as hell even though I ice all day.

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