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Accommodating surgical hardware in my boot after crash

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi all,


I've been reading Epic Ski for some time but this is my first post, sorry for the length but I've attached scary X-rays to make up for it.


I'm looking for some boot fitting advice to try and get back onto the slopes this season following a major accident last year that ended my season only ski days 19 days in.  President's day weekend last season at A-Basin  I hit an obstacle (assume a mogul) I could not see under around 12" of powder at speed, this was on a step ish pitch and I ended up tumbling  for around 275 feet down the hill, from the GPS track, until it leveled out.  Patrol got me to the base on the sled and from there on to hospital at Frisco where the scans showed a spiral fracture of the tibia and what was worse was a very fractured tibial plateau (TPF Schatzker level 6).   3 operations and 21 days in hospital later got home and have been on the mend ever since. (note if you every break bones Colorado's Summit county is a great place to do it.)


In my leg I have now two plates, one holding the TPF back together that’s well above the boot  and a second long plate down the length of my tiba which ends around 2 inches lower the my boot top.  I've attached 2 x-rays so you can see what I've got going on.


Trying my boots back on the plate on the front of my shin and screws are pushing on the cuff of the boot around the area where the tongue  curves round and tucks under the boot shell on the left side.  This is just above the top clip at the height of the Velcro strap. 


So I'm looking for your advice on getting back in the game and seeing if my plan is remotely on the right track.


(1) Go to a boot guy - I'm planning on going to see a good boot fitter prior to a return to the slopes in late December (first date the doc will let me try skiing again).    Aim here is to see what can be done to try and accommodate the bottom of the plate and lessen the pressure on that area.  If this needs new liner or boots I'm all up for that.  Any hints as to what to ask for and things to avoid?


(2) New Boot Liners - I was looking at the thermo moldable liners as I read that you can create a small void in the liner to give space for hardware during the mounding process.  Do you guys know if this is plausible?


  • Would a wrap style boot liner help with the pinch point that the boot tongue is currently causing ?


  • Any recommendations other than Intuition wraps  (I'm only looking for recreational skiing not racing)?


  • Anyone had any experience with the Christy Sports offering in the boot liners over the branded Intuition models ?


  • Can I keep using my hotronics with thermo molded liners ?


Thanks for any help you can give.


My Info

Age 38, 5'8", 230lbs

Skiing from age 5.  Around 30 to 40 days a year in the Colorado Rockies

Expert/Technical but not aggressive skier (banned from moguls for life now)


Current boots - Tecnica Phoenix HVL 120 Flex with custom footbeds and hotronics (about 25 days of use)



post #2 of 4

nice hardware!


it shouldn't' be too much of a problem using a intuition style liner to accommodate that hardware, yes it is true that you can create an indentation in the liner to deal with it, it may mean 15 minutes of discomfort during the mould to get a really good fit


1 work with a named boot fitter who has experience in fitting people after trauma (check the who's who list at the top of the forum for someone local to you) tkae the x ray with you or a picture so they can see what's in there and where it hits on the boot.

2 allow that boot fitter to assess whether or not your current boot fits you or you need a new boot, getting a close fitting boot will help with stability and help prevent injury

3 you can use your hotronic elements with a thermo liner, if the footbed is not well made it is better to start from scratch but the elements are the cheap bit at around $30, the batteries are the pricey part, so if you need a new footbed and element go for it

4 most importantly get out there and have fun!

post #3 of 4

Christy I think still sells Zipfit liners, which are an excellent product.  I would say they fit typically firmer than Intuitions, but that doesn't mean better for your particular problem.  Steve Bagley in Snobird has quite a bit of experience with them.  But I'm not certain if he sells Intuition for an immediate compare contrast.  Colin is right you can create an indentation in the Intuitions and it will be more permanent I'd say than with Zips.


There is an assortment of good fitters in the area you were skiing when injured, so you should be able to get a good outcome.


Good luck!



post #4 of 4

Beauty of a break.  I did the same injury at SKI Mag's Boot Test 15 years ago.  You will find your knee is an excellent weather vane.

They reduced my injury with an external fixator, instead of an internal plate.

Reducing the pain will take more than a custom liner.  An upper cuff and tongue will need to be configured that pockets the plate and redistributes pressure to the medial and lateral sides of the leg.  The Zip Fit is a good starting point as the flow pack in that boot tongue does a nice job of molding.  But adding elements to the cuff to spread pressure is usually required.  Not many boot fitters have done this.  If you want to come to Telluride, I have made this kind of alteration a number of times.


Bob G


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