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Getting your form, confidence back post knee injury - any advice?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I had a tibial plateau fracture on my right knee in late January of 2015.  A high speed crash where I tumbled and my knee whammed into a tree.  

 

I've rehabbed pretty good in the weight room and feel physically ready to go, but I do have some concern when I make those first turns here in a few weeks. I enjoyed the high speeds and steep hard packs in the past, but will probably have to avoid that this season until I'm ready.

 

For those who have had knee injuries, how did you manage getting back into the swing of things?   

post #2 of 10
Ease into it and do not overdo it. I skied nice groomers in the beginning and avoided lumpy, cruddy snow. I stopped skiing before I got tired.

At the beginning, I would yell at anyone who came near me. That was unneccessary but I was scared of a collision. That went away quickly.
post #3 of 10

Background:  I've had 2 ACL reconstructions (1998, 2006) and a follow up surgery after one of them to clean up screw fragments.  

 

For me the confidence came back in stages.  Stage 1 was the first run.  Stage 2 was the first "good" run where I started to feel like my old self (usually a few days later).  Stage 3 was getting up from a pretty nice wipeout and realizing nothing was hurting.  I have no idea what my form looked like but I have to imagine it ran in tandem with my confidence level.

 

Best of luck, sooner or later it won't be on your mind very often at all.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you guys for the advice--am eager to get the mental monkey off my back!

 

Would it be too crazy to change out equipment?  Maybe add something slower, more controlled to the quiver? I LOVED my Volkl RTM84s--I could really get into a carving rhythm with 'em--but wearing those kinda encourages fast aggressive skiing, lol.  

post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by AL2CO View Post
 

Thank you guys for the advice--am eager to get the mental monkey off my back!

 

Would it be too crazy to change out equipment?  Maybe add something slower, more controlled to the quiver? I LOVED my Volkl RTM84s--I could really get into a carving rhythm with 'em--but wearing those kinda encourages fast aggressive skiing, lol.  


Have you consulted your doc as to whether you're fully healed?  If not, then you should.  If you have, and he/she says you're good, then the following applies:

 

I don't have any experience with tibial plateau fractures but I've had - in order - meniscus tears, acl tear (and reconstruction), meniscal tears, microfracture, arthroscopy, and then double total knee replacement 15 months ago.

 

The MENTAL part of skiing again after a knee injury/repair is, just speaking for myself, more of a hurdle than the physical demands on the repaired knee.  You can't help but wonder if it's good to go after that big disruption.

 

All I can tell you is that each repair I've had has resulted in a structurally sound knee the next time I got on snow.  It didn't take more than a few hours to decide that the knee would take whatever stress I applied to it.  

 

Change out equipment if it makes you feel more confident (we all love excuses to buy new equipment, after all), but my own experience is that your knee will perform whatever you ask it to.

 

Good luck!

post #6 of 10

I also fractured my tibial plateau at the end of January last season, plus tore my meniscus. Neither required surgery. I have mountain biked all summer, pushing through some pain early on because there was never any post-ride pain or swelling, went to PT religiously, and feel ready to ski! What I've added in recently are deep squats, one-legged deep squats, anything to test out flexing that knee and holding it, and see how the meniscus reacts. So far, so good.

 

My plan is to get out there on opening day and just flow. I am going to take my trusty easy going skis, and have my more aggressive skis in the car should I decide I'm feeling that good. I'm really not that nervous about it. I'm VERY anxious to get back out there. I actually biked literally right over the site where the fracture occurred just last week, and flipped it the bird :D

I think if I hit conditions that are similar to what I crashed in (slush on the drop in to a cat track,) THEN I'll probably be a little nervous. But hopefully we won't see any of that garbage here in Utah this season until spring!

 

So, Just take it easy. I would caution against getting on skis you have not skied before--I think familiarity will be your friend until you get your groove back on. So long as you are able to back off and work on turn shape and controlled speeds on your RTM's, I'd stick with those.

 

Good luck!

post #7 of 10
Quote:

Originally Posted by contesstant View Post

 

I think familiarity will be your friend until you get your groove back on. So long as you are able to back off and work on turn shape and controlled speeds on your RTM's, I'd stick with those.

 

 

Totally agree - this way one doesn't wonder if it's the leg, or the new equipment, if something feels slightly "off".

 

I would save the new equipment purchase as a reward for getting back to 100% whether it takes a single day, or most of the season.  Plus if it's later in the season you can take advantage of the better deals ...

:beercheer: 

post #8 of 10

As a veteran of two knee surgeries and three years of physical therapy (both surgeries occurred within the same year), I remember very well what it was like to return to the snow.  I was very scared.  I started on the bunny hill and stayed there until I was totally bored.  I also wore a knee brace and still do. I also slowed WAY down.  

 

For me, anyway, the accident and subsequent surgeries change my life in a very radical way and I have not been able to be as carefree about skiing as I was before. However, that's not necessarily a bad thing.  I now focus more on technique and finesse.  I'm just glad I can ski again.  For several years that didn't seem as if it would be possible.  

post #9 of 10
I'm like JaneB in terms of the mental impact. Broken knee cap. Started skiing before I was actually approved to do so, but stayed on one green trail for two months until I was "approved", at which point I started exploring blues. I have not skied at the same level mentally, and definitely not the speeds I used to, since. But I did work on technique, and find there are a number of things I do better now technically. I can definitely link more controlled turns consistently in hard terrain, but I'm more hesitant than I used to be about being on that terrain. Part of that is undoubtedly that prior to the knee there had been another bad accident, which I had just gotten past when the knee happened. But the realization that you don't recover that fast at my age is a huge factor. I just don't want to go through all that (the two things are really merged in my head) again.
post #10 of 10

The best thing you can do is not to stay in one place. Keep movin, first start to walk around city, parks, forest etc. Than start to make your knee more flexible - start to using orbitrek or home, static bicycle (not run, running makes bounces and this is dangerous). And after few months you will start to live :)

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