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What to expect your first season after an ACL injury?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

I am older skier, started learning to ski at age 40, I was in the middle of what would have been my fourth season last year when I sustained a knee injury, completely severing my ACL, tearing my meniscus, and spraining my MCL.

 

I had surgery, the surgery went well, I did all the things recommended by the surgeon post-surgery and then started doing PT which I did aggressively from May of last year until I cleared by the PT to go back to the gym last fall. I continue to work out doing a routine based on my PT three times a week with some cardio mixed in on the off days. The PT routine is a mix of agility, jumping, and classic strength training.

 

Prior to my injury I was definitely progressing in my skiing, capable of accessing the vast majority of terrain (black and double-black) at my home resort which is one of the bigger resorts on the East coast. I could ski decently in the all conditions the East coast can throw at a skier.

 

Flash forward to now, I am nine days into my current season and frankly I am "sucking hard" would be the best way I can put it.

I tire easily, the injured leg gets very tender and painful after only three days of skiing. I ski like a beginner, I am spending most of my time in the beginners area, rather than getting out on the rest of the mountain. When I do venture out into the larger resort my skiing is sloppy and unpredictable. Basically, I ski terribly - to the point where I am considering hanging up my skis.

 

So my question: is this the normal experience returning to skiing after ACL surgery? What have other folks experienced? Did you hop right back on the slopes at the same pre-injury level of ability after a few weeks of the season or does it take many seasons to get it back?

post #2 of 23
I had been skiing about 20 years,I had the same injury you did, at age 61, good surgical result, did PT religiously, back on the road bike about 3 months after surgery. My on the snow result was very different. I tore my knee in December at the first Epic Academy at Stowe, surgery in February, so that season was shot. (Somebody not in our class ran into me). My first day back was one year later, at the next Academy at Stowe, in a class with the late, great Stu Campbell, who knew exactly what had happened to me, and was focused on rebuilding my confidence. So I was doing intermediate drills with a great instructor intent on teaching shaped ski technique - they were still new then. I wasn't just poking around on the hill, not knowing what to expect. I did have some soreness and took ibuprofen before and after skiing, and I was prescribed a custom Donjoy brace, not to make my knee feel stronger, but to keep the injury from recurring and ruining all that expensive surgery if I had a similar fall. That was a confidence builder too. I used it for my first two seasons back. And I wear XWave tights which make my knees feel compact and supported. I think this is mostly placebo.

Try to find a sympathetic instructor to rebuild your skills and have some structure to your on the snow time. Don't expect to be back where you were by the end of this season, but you can still have fun on moderate terrain. And I'm a great believer in cycling to build leg and knee strength - I did about 2000 miles from my surgery till my first day back on snow.

In my case the comeback was more in my head than in my knee. Don't give up.
post #3 of 23

this really depends on how long its been since surgery &  how prepared you were for the season. In my case, i skied 40 days the "next season" which started 8 months after surgery. It did take about 20 ski days before I felt I was back where I left off. Powder was easier of course. 

post #4 of 23

I had surgery in August 08, took the entire upcoming season off, and returned the following season.  I started skiing with great trepidation but as soon as bumps and steeps were opened I hit them as hard as ever and didn't have any problems.  I was initially nervous because I had some chronic residual pain in my knee but it turned out to be a piece of bioabsorbable screw that hadn't bioabsorbed.

post #5 of 23

Are you skiing 3 days in a row? Are you skiing full days? If yes, then you are probably pushing it a little too hard, too fast. It's OK to ski an hour, 3 runs, 4 runs, two hours, whatever. Then take a day off. Then ski 2 days later, etc. Work up to it. Cut yourself some slack and try to just enjoy the fact that you DID recover and are STILL recovering and are back out there! Best of luck...I'll be following in your footsteps next season as mine just ended with a tibial plateau fracture. :mad

post #6 of 23

Not ACL but I'm struggling with some hip issues this season. My skiing was really doing badly until I got a lesson. The instructor recognized some form issues that were hurting me and correcting them got me back on track. While an instructor might be a bit more expensive than a physical therapy session, the on hill results were worth it.

 

Of course you must be doing lots of the physical therapy to assure you are strong enough to ski well. And be cleared by your doctor. Your mental attitude and belief in your body is very important.

 

Eric

post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2skiornot View Post
 

I am older skier, started learning to ski at age 40, I was in the middle of what would have been my fourth season last year when I sustained a knee injury, completely severing my ACL, tearing my meniscus, and spraining my MCL.

 

I had surgery, the surgery went well, I did all the things recommended by the surgeon post-surgery and then started doing PT which I did aggressively from May of last year until I cleared by the PT to go back to the gym last fall. I continue to work out doing a routine based on my PT three times a week with some cardio mixed in on the off days. The PT routine is a mix of agility, jumping, and classic strength training.

 

Prior to my injury I was definitely progressing in my skiing, capable of accessing the vast majority of terrain (black and double-black) at my home resort which is one of the bigger resorts on the East coast. I could ski decently in the all conditions the East coast can throw at a skier.

 

Flash forward to now, I am nine days into my current season and frankly I am "sucking hard" would be the best way I can put it.

I tire easily, the injured leg gets very tender and painful after only three days of skiing. I ski like a beginner, I am spending most of my time in the beginners area, rather than getting out on the rest of the mountain. When I do venture out into the larger resort my skiing is sloppy and unpredictable. Basically, I ski terribly - to the point where I am considering hanging up my skis.

 

So my question: is this the normal experience returning to skiing after ACL surgery? What have other folks experienced? Did you hop right back on the slopes at the same pre-injury level of ability after a few weeks of the season or does it take many seasons to get it back?


What really made a difference in my skiing after an ACL injury (around age 55) was investing the time and money to work with very experience instructors.  My home mountain is a small one in the Mid-Atlantic, but being able to work with the same instructor several times before going out west was well worth it.  I also take a lesson or two during a ski trip to a ski destination.  In my case, I usually do trips with friends of similar ability.  So a semi-private with one or two friends works out well.  I ski far better now that before the injury.  Better technique = more confidence.

 

What type of exercises did you do that were specifically geared towards skiing and knee stability?

post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2skiornot View Post
 

 

I tire easily, the injured leg gets very tender and painful after only three days of skiing. I

 

 

Well, it sucks to hear things are a bit rough.  I'm no authority, but I've skied many days on sub- optimal knees.  Here's what I found

 

Don't ski whole days, or day after day.  I know everyone has different slope access, but much of the thrill is in the first runs of the day.  Gradually crank it up, then go home.

 

Fatigue has nothing to do with conditioning, everything to do with comfort level.  Ski relaxed, don't force anything, and you'll find your condition is not that bad.

 

Nothing tightens you up and produces stiff, un-relaxed skiing more than a lesson.  If you do one, choose it carefully.

 

Don't underestimate the value of a good crash once in awhile.  If you fall don't fight it, just bounce up with new enthusiasm, knowing you don't get injured in every mishap.

 

Skiing is fun.  Not a work obligation.  If it crosses the line, don't go.  Wait until you are healthy, confident and a bit bored.  You'll be back in fine form!

post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by evansilver View Post

I had been skiing about 20 years,I had the same injury you did, at age 61, good surgical result, did PT religiously, back on the road bike about 3 months after surgery. My on the snow result was very different. I tore my knee in December at the first Epic Academy at Stowe, surgery in February, so that season was shot. (Somebody not in our class ran into me). My first day back was one year later, at the next Academy at Stowe, in a class with the late, great Stu Campbell, who knew exactly what had happened to me, and was focused on rebuilding my confidence. So I was doing intermediate drills with a great instructor intent on teaching shaped ski technique - they were still new then. I wasn't just poking around on the hill, not knowing what to expect. I did have some soreness and took ibuprofen before and after skiing, and I was prescribed a custom Donjoy brace, not to make my knee feel stronger, but to keep the injury from recurring and ruining all that expensive surgery if I had a similar fall. That was a confidence builder too. I used it for my first two seasons back. And I wear XWave tights which make my knees feel compact and supported. I think this is mostly placebo.

Try to find a sympathetic instructor to rebuild your skills and have some structure to your on the snow time. Don't expect to be back where you were by the end of this season, but you can still have fun on moderate terrain. And I'm a great believer in cycling to build leg and knee strength - I did about 2000 miles from my surgery till my first day back on snow.

In my case the comeback was more in my head than in my knee. Don't give up.

 

I thought about a brace, my surgeon mentioned it on my final visit before he cleared me to ski. He said I could get one but there was no empirical evidence one way or the other on the benefit of using a brace. He did give me the prescription for a carbon fiber braces. I got fitted for the brace but I never pulled the trigger on the order, due to cost - it was close to $300. Sounds like I should revisit that decision.

 

I thought about lessons as well, the problem is the ski program at my mountain is weak once you move beyond the basics. If you want to learn a snow-plow turn or how to begin to do a parallel turn, they have instructors for that but after that you're wasting your time with their program. They're just too focused on the beginner with very little for the advanced intermediate or  special needs like returning to skiing after injury. They do offer private lessons at $100/hr which I will investigate. Ideally I would find a private ski instructor and just pay for their ticket and time, this would probably be more effective and less costly than the $100/hr private lessons with the mountain ski-school.

 

It is funny you mention skiing being a "work obligation." I remarked the other day that this season "skiing feels like a second job rather than something I enjoy doing." This was pretty sad considering how excited and enthusiastic I've felt about the sport in the past.

post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
 

this really depends on how long its been since surgery &  how prepared you were for the season. In my case, i skied 40 days the "next season" which started 8 months after surgery. It did take about 20 ski days before I felt I was back where I left off. Powder was easier of course. 

 

It has been nearly eleven months since the surgery. Started aggressive PT (three times a week) as soon as the surgeon cleared me which was six weeks after surgery. I was officially cleared to go back to the gym last September but my physical therapist had transitioned me from recovery to training long before that. Been exercising three days a week since leaving PT. So I think I was ready as I could be for the season.

 

Sounds like your recovery experience was better/quicker than mine. One of those things that varies per person. What did you do to build up your knee stability and overall strength?

 

I notice that your post signature says you're a Steamboat ambassador. I did a trip to Steamboat back in 2012, what a great experience! I took three days of lessons with the best instructor I have ever encountered. He took me from being a blueish skier to being a solid black diamond skier. Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic!

post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by contesstant View Post
 

Are you skiing 3 days in a row? Are you skiing full days? If yes, then you are probably pushing it a little too hard, too fast. It's OK to ski an hour, 3 runs, 4 runs, two hours, whatever. Then take a day off. Then ski 2 days later, etc. Work up to it. Cut yourself some slack and try to just enjoy the fact that you DID recover and are STILL recovering and are back out there! Best of luck...I'll be following in your footsteps next season as mine just ended with a tibial plateau fracture. :mad

 

The ski mountain is a three and a half hour ride from where I live so we generally go up Friday night, ski Saturday and Sunday then drive home Sunday afternoon. It would be awesome if I could stagger my ski days like you suggest but the logistics don't quite work out in my case.

 

I started off slow, conditions were poor when the season started and I was very anxious my first day out so I only did a few runs. I have been gradually increasing the number of runs since then. A typical day is anywhere from 10 to 14 runs depending on the day. These are very easy greenish blue runs, so nothing hard. My resort has a beginners area which I have not really left.

 

I am sorry to hear about your injury, I hope you have a speedy recovery. What do the docs says for recovery time?

post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2skiornot View Post
 

 

The ski mountain is a three and a half hour ride from where I live so we generally go up Friday night, ski Saturday and Sunday then drive home Sunday afternoon. It would be awesome if I could stagger my ski days like you suggest but the logistics don't quite work out in my case.

 

I started off slow, conditions were poor when the season started and I was very anxious my first day out so I only did a few runs. I have been gradually increasing the number of runs since then. A typical day is anywhere from 10 to 14 runs depending on the day. These are very easy greenish blue runs, so nothing hard. My resort has a beginners area which I have not really left.

 

I am sorry to hear about your injury, I hope you have a speedy recovery. What do the docs says for recovery time?


I totally get not being able to stagger your days--been there, done that! Are you still doing PT and other strengthening work during the week?

And thanks, I won't know my recovery until I have an MRI which will hopefully be this week. I might still have to have surgery if my ACL was involved.

post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 


What really made a difference in my skiing after an ACL injury (around age 55) was investing the time and money to work with very experience instructors.  My home mountain is a small one in the Mid-Atlantic, but being able to work with the same instructor several times before going out west was well worth it.  I also take a lesson or two during a ski trip to a ski destination.  In my case, I usually do trips with friends of similar ability.  So a semi-private with one or two friends works out well.  I ski far better now that before the injury.  Better technique = more confidence.

 

What type of exercises did you do that were specifically geared towards skiing and knee stability?

 

Semi-private and private lessons would be very helpful, especially having the same instructor each lesson. I need to figure out how to make that happen at my mountain. The ski school there meets the needs of beginners but leaves everyone else out in the cold so to speak.

 

None of the exercises I do are specifically geared towards skiing but most focus on overall leg strength ensuring the muscles around the knee are strong and balanced. Regular squats, lunges, calf raises, single leg squats, leg lifts at various angles to hit the interior groin muscles and outer hip muscles and hip flexors. I bought and old school step like you use in step aerobics (we used one in PT) and I step-ups and step-downs, single leg squats on the step for balance. I do jumping onto the step as well, both forward and side jumps along with a forward jump where I land on the bad leg, pause to get my balance then put the other foot down. Agility exercises using forward and back running wind sprints, ladder exercises, and wind sprints using a side shuffle.

 

Basically I took all the stuff I got from PT and turned it into my regular work out, which I do two to three times a week with some walking in between.

post #14 of 23
Re: brace

Covered by insurance. This was when I was still working and paying extra for a gold plated policy. Company never blinked at anything. Those days are gone for good, alas.
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2skiornot View Post
 

 

It has been nearly eleven months since the surgery. Started aggressive PT (three times a week) as soon as the surgeon cleared me which was six weeks after surgery. I was officially cleared to go back to the gym last September but my physical therapist had transitioned me from recovery to training long before that. Been exercising three days a week since leaving PT. So I think I was ready as I could be for the season.

 

Sounds like your recovery experience was better/quicker than mine. One of those things that varies per person. What did you do to build up your knee stability and overall strength?

 

I notice that your post signature says you're a Steamboat ambassador. I did a trip to Steamboat back in 2012, what a great experience! I took three days of lessons with the best instructor I have ever encountered. He took me from being a blueish skier to being a solid black diamond skier. Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic!

Everyone is different and heals differently. One thing I can tell you is that I started PT on day 3 following surgery. Getting the knee moving ASAP is huge. AS you knwo that quad atrophies so fast following the injury.  I also did a ton of strengthening before the surgery so it was in half decent shape.  My PT does a lot of balance, procipriation, fine muscle work and kenetic re-allignment more that pure strength training. In my case, we didnt' bother too much with stationary bikes, we worked on other movements.  I am convinced though that there isn't one best way.  Another factor is the mental aspect which takes a big toll on you. I thought I was mentally ready but it was a struggle to stay focused and positive week after week and rather paranoid about someone knocking into my knee.  

post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2skiornot View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 


What really made a difference in my skiing after an ACL injury (around age 55) was investing the time and money to work with very experience instructors.  My home mountain is a small one in the Mid-Atlantic, but being able to work with the same instructor several times before going out west was well worth it.  I also take a lesson or two during a ski trip to a ski destination.  In my case, I usually do trips with friends of similar ability.  So a semi-private with one or two friends works out well.  I ski far better now that before the injury.  Better technique = more confidence.

 

What type of exercises did you do that were specifically geared towards skiing and knee stability?

 

Semi-private and private lessons would be very helpful, especially having the same instructor each lesson. I need to figure out how to make that happen at my mountain. The ski school there meets the needs of beginners but leaves everyone else out in the cold so to speak.

 

None of the exercises I do are specifically geared towards skiing but most focus on overall leg strength ensuring the muscles around the knee are strong and balanced. Regular squats, lunges, calf raises, single leg squats, leg lifts at various angles to hit the interior groin muscles and outer hip muscles and hip flexors. I bought and old school step like you use in step aerobics (we used one in PT) and I step-ups and step-downs, single leg squats on the step for balance. I do jumping onto the step as well, both forward and side jumps along with a forward jump where I land on the bad leg, pause to get my balance then put the other foot down. Agility exercises using forward and back running wind sprints, ladder exercises, and wind sprints using a side shuffle.

 

Basically I took all the stuff I got from PT and turned it into my regular work out, which I do two to three times a week with some walking in between.


As Finndog mentioned, getting in shape for skiing involves more than strength training.  Balance (proprioception) and flexibility are equally important.  Having strong hamstrings is basic for avoiding future knee injuries.

 

Have you ever look at the knee safety tips by Vermont Ski Safety?

 

It couldn't hurt to speak to the ski school Director about a special multi-lesson arrangement.  What do you know of PSIA certification levels?  What really helped me was to take lessons from a Level 3 instructor not only my local ski school but also when I traveled to big mountains.  For big mountains, I usually got a recommendation for a specific instructor.  A bit simpler for me because my trips out west are with friends so I can usually talk one or two into doing a semi-private with me.  Not only cuts the cost, but I find that I learn a lot by observing what my friends is being taught during the lesson.  I ski far better now than before the ACL injury a few years ago.

 

Here are some ideas to think about.  You are probably doing most, if not all, of the exercises.

 

 

 

For gaining confidence, I found the SkiA Sweetspot very helpful.  It's a balance trainer that you use while wearing your ski boots.  It was nice to able to both rotate and edge in a completely safe (indoor) environment before doing the same movements while sliding on snow.  Can't say that I used it that much, but it was well worth the money since I still use it in general as I continue to improve my ski technique.  I was an older advanced skier before ACL injury who was just starting to go off-piste in places like Alta or Big Sky.  At this stage, I'm probably skiing 75% off piste on more complex terrain than I expected to learn to handle given that started serious lessons after age 55.

 

Completely understand the weekend ski trip concept.  I drive 4 hours from NC to northern VA to ski at a mountain that has 75 skiable acres.  But what I've learned in recent years is that an experienced instructor can show you what to practice and how to use the existing terrain to gain confidence to prepare for ski trips to bigger mountains.

post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
 

Everyone is different and heals differently. One thing I can tell you is that I started PT on day 3 following surgery. Getting the knee moving ASAP is huge. AS you knwo that quad atrophies so fast following the injury.  I also did a ton of strengthening before the surgery so it was in half decent shape.  My PT does a lot of balance, procipriation, fine muscle work and kenetic re-allignment more that pure strength training. In my case, we didnt' bother too much with stationary bikes, we worked on other movements.  I am convinced though that there isn't one best way.  Another factor is the mental aspect which takes a big toll on you. I thought I was mentally ready but it was a struggle to stay focused and positive week after week and rather paranoid about someone knocking into my knee.  

 

The mental aspect has been huge for me, I am having a simila struggle to stay focused and postive.

 

After missing half of last season then spending most of last year recovering I started this season with an odd mix of anxiety and enthusiam. Anxious about getting reinjured as well as not knowing how the season would go. Enthusiatic because my surgeon told me I would be back to normal at around eight days into the season, making me look forward to picking up where I left off only a third of the way through the season.

 

Ten days into this season have brought me no where near full recovery. The realization of how much work is ahead of me is daunting. The total excitment I used to feel going up to the ski mountain ever weekend has been displaced by boredom and frustration from doing the same beginner trails over and over every saturday and sunday. The thought of spending the rest of the season in a similar state has given me definite cause to consider taking the rest of the season off.

 

I keep coming back because I think it is better to be doing something than nothing and being on the slopes at least let's me practice but the enery required to stay positive is enourmous especially given the the small returns I've seen for the effort expended.

post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 


As Finndog mentioned, getting in shape for skiing involves more than strength training.  Balance (proprioception) and flexibility are equally important.  Having strong hamstrings is basic for avoiding future knee injuries.

 

Have you ever look at the knee safety tips by Vermont Ski Safety?

 

It couldn't hurt to speak to the ski school Director about a special multi-lesson arrangement.  What do you know of PSIA certification levels?  What really helped me was to take lessons from a Level 3 instructor not only my local ski school but also when I traveled to big mountains.  For big mountains, I usually got a recommendation for a specific instructor.  A bit simpler for me because my trips out west are with friends so I can usually talk one or two into doing a semi-private with me.  Not only cuts the cost, but I find that I learn a lot by observing what my friends is being taught during the lesson.  I ski far better now than before the ACL injury a few years ago.

 

Here are some ideas to think about.  You are probably doing most, if not all, of the exercises.

 

For gaining confidence, I found the SkiA Sweetspot very helpful.  It's a balance trainer that you use while wearing your ski boots.  It was nice to able to both rotate and edge in a completely safe (indoor) environment before doing the same movements while sliding on snow.  Can't say that I used it that much, but it was well worth the money since I still use it in general as I continue to improve my ski technique.  I was an older advanced skier before ACL injury who was just starting to go off-piste in places like Alta or Big Sky.  At this stage, I'm probably skiing 75% off piste on more complex terrain than I expected to learn to handle given that started serious lessons after age 55.

 

Completely understand the weekend ski trip concept.  I drive 4 hours from NC to northern VA to ski at a mountain that has 75 skiable acres.  But what I've learned in recent years is that an experienced instructor can show you what to practice and how to use the existing terrain to gain confidence to prepare for ski trips to bigger mountains.

 

I will check out the link for protetcing your knees when skiing, I have not seen that before. I'll check out the exercises as well, I don't have a Bosu but I do have the stability cusion you stand on to to work on your balance. Have been thinking about getting a Bosu, seems like a good tool to have.

 

I've never heard of the SkiA Sweetspot but it sounds like a useful tool, will definitely check it out.

 

I've been doing some research on ways to get good lessons as well, still a work in progress but hopefully it will pan out soon.

 

It encouraging to hear you've been able to recover from your injury as well as excel in your skiing enough to go off-mountain into the backcountry - all while not starting to ski until age 55. Makes me think starting to ski at 40 was not a foolish idea on my part.

post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by contesstant View Post
 


I totally get not being able to stagger your days--been there, done that! Are you still doing PT and other strengthening work during the week?

And thanks, I won't know my recovery until I have an MRI which will hopefully be this week. I might still have to have surgery if my ACL was involved.

 

Hopefully you get your MRI soon and no surgey is needed!

post #20 of 23

Hi There.

 

I would say that real full recovery is at least 2 years. Its normal that you're aching.... I had a full ACL reconstruction on my left knee. I'm also a pro ski coach in Val d'Isere skimckay.com so I was very keen to return to my skis....

 

The secret is to strengthen all your muscles around your Knee. Workout the scar tissue with massage. Ensure you have a full range. Ice if needed. Use your body weight only doing single leg squats to a safe angle (from a chair, not less than 90 deg)..... locate a very good experienced sports physio..

 

Good luck, Martin

post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2skiornot View Post
 
I will check out the link for protetcing your knees when skiing, I have not seen that before. I'll check out the exercises as well, I don't have a Bosu but I do have the stability cusion you stand on to to work on your balance. Have been thinking about getting a Bosu, seems like a good tool to have.

 

I've never heard of the SkiA Sweetspot but it sounds like a useful tool, will definitely check it out.

 

I've been doing some research on ways to get good lessons as well, still a work in progress but hopefully it will pan out soon.

 

It encouraging to hear you've been able to recover from your injury as well as excel in your skiing enough to go off-mountain into the backcountry - all while not starting to ski until age 55. Makes me think starting to ski at 40 was not a foolish idea on my part.

Well, I didn't start skiing at age 55.  I was an intermediate skier who learned in middle school but skied relatively little after that.  Didn't have a chance to ski regularly until I got my daughter starter.  I was still an intermediate in 2009 when I first brought her for a spring break trip to Alta.  After that I skied more, took lessons, and became an advanced skier in a few years.  But I didn't really have the confidence it takes to go wandering around off-piste to new steep terrain without worry until after the ACL injury, rehab, and decision to really improve my ski technique.

 

Not that it makes any difference for your situation, but I opted to not do ACLr surgery.  Have since found that there are more advanced/expert skiers who don't have an ACL than you might think.  Just met someone at Alta Lodge who lost an ACL 20 years ago.  Have skied with several others in the last few years.

post #22 of 23

I'll echo the two year recovery window.  I also had ACL/meniscus surgery.  In my case things went south and it was three years and an additional surgery before I was back on skis.

 

I respectfully disagree with  views that braces don't help, and so does a study from the Steadman/Hawkins clinic that studied ski pros both using and not using braces post- ACL surgery.  It found half the reinjury rate in the group that used braces. The study is about ten years old now.

 

For me, I wore my brace and still do.  It's a custom and expensive but I forget about it once on. 

My first season was tough.  I was really scared and backed off on the speed.  Not a bad idea.  I also took lessons to make sure my technique was OK.  I was in good shape after two years of PT....

 

It's still hard for me to just forget about the injury and the aftermath but with more mileage and years I'm pretty much OK now.  It's been ten years.

post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2skiornot View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 


As Finndog mentioned, getting in shape for skiing involves more than strength training.  Balance (proprioception) and flexibility are equally important.  Having strong hamstrings is basic for avoiding future knee injuries.

[snip]

 

I will check out the link for protetcing your knees when skiing, I have not seen that before. I'll check out the exercises as well, I don't have a Bosu but I do have the stability cusion you stand on to to work on your balance. Have been thinking about getting a Bosu, seems like a good tool to have.

 

I've never heard of the SkiA Sweetspot but it sounds like a useful tool, will definitely check it out.

 

I've been doing some research on ways to get good lessons as well, still a work in progress but hopefully it will pan out soon.

 

[snip]


The main advantage of a BOSU over a small stability cushion is that it can be used for upper body exercises as well as lower body and 1-leg balance.  I liked having one at home when I was doing rehab and just starting to work on ski conditioning on a consistent basis because it was easy to spend 10-15 min every day or even 5-10 min a few times a day.

 

For improving balance, can stand on 1-leg any time, any place.  In a recent semi-private lesson with a couple friends in Utah, one of the drills we did was sliding on one ski on pretty flat terrain, lifting the other ski straight up.  It was quite a challenge for my friends who hadn't tried that before.  Once my friends were okay on flat terrain, then we were skiing over small rollers in the Terrain Based Learning area on 1-leg.

 

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