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Back on Snow After ACL Replacement Surgery

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Back on Snow After ACL Replacement Surgery

 

Returning to skiing this season after tearing ACL (Dec 2014) and having reconstruction surgery (Jan 2015).

 

Have rehabbed it hard (lot's of weights) all year and was cleared by Doctor last week after being told I did "an amazing job" on the rehab.  Was just fitted for a Donjoy Armor knee brace - I will wear brace this year, maybe next year also.

 

  • Has anyone seen a good program once on snow/skis?
  • What should be emphasis first few runs?  Few days?
  • Any drills (on skis) that help with physical or mental aspects of this return?

 

Aggressive SL/GS type skier (ex-racer, mid-forties).  My first ski days will be in WI.  But have plans to ski MT in Christmas, CH (Wengen/Grindelwald) in Feb, and UT in March.

 

Thanks for help.


Edited by Moose32 - 11/5/15 at 6:55pm
post #2 of 8

After my ACL reconstruction, my surgeon recommended taking it easy for the first year, stick to greens, no moguls, etc.

 

"Doc, that's not going to happen."

 

"OK, then I'll prescribe a brace.  There is no proof they protect you, but still I had my daughter wear one after her knee surgery."

 

I wore the brace, and skied very cautiously for two runs, then somewhat cautiously, and was back in the moguls by day two,

 

Read the VT ski safety council (or whatever their name is) write-up about what puts your ACL at risk, and don't do that!

Basically no back seat, no trying to recover when you are wildly out of balance.

 

Good luck!

 

 

P.S. to see past threads, it's easiest to skip the built in search and use google:

site:epicski.com ACL recovery

 

 

P.P.S: I'm still wearing the brace.  If nothing else it is a security blanket.

post #3 of 8

The Vermont Ski Safety Kneefriendly Tips are well worth reading more than once.

 

http://www.vermontskisafety.com/kneefriendly.php

 

 

Here's the long running thread related to skiing after ACL reconstruction surgery.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/108804/life-after-acl-reconstruction

post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moose32 View Post
 

Back on Snow After ACL Replacement Surgery

 

Returning to skiing this season after tearing ACL (Dec 2014) and having reconstruction surgery (Jan 2015).

 

Have rehabbed it hard (lot's of weights) all year and was cleared by Doctor last week after being told I did "an amazing job" on the rehab.  Was just fitted for a Donjoy Armor knee brace - I will wear brace this year, maybe next year also.

 

  • Has anyone seen a good program once on snow/skis?
  • What should be emphasis first few runs?  Few days?
  • Any drills (on skis) that help with physical or mental aspects of this return?

 

Aggressive SL/GS type skier (ex-racer, mid-forties).  My first ski days will be in WI.  But have plans to ski MT in Christmas, CH (Wengen/Grindelwald) in Feb, and UT in March.

 

Thanks for help.

Been skiing yet?

post #5 of 8

Bear in mind that soft tissue healing is very slow.  I wouldn't want to tear mine again, and haven't.  I did slow down alot the first year.  

 

There is, in fact, evidence that a brace will reduce your risk of reinjury.  Steadman Hawkins did a study comparing post-ACL surgery ski professionals.  Half the group wore a brace.  The other half didn't.  The braced group had approximately half the reinjury rate.

 

It convinced me.


Edited by JaneB - 1/1/16 at 7:16am
post #6 of 8

Great post. I can relate. I had ACL reconstruction too and am also a sport chiropractor so I can relate to both sides of the coin. :) 

 

This advice is more for off the slopes, but have you also been doing stability exercises, like on a wobble board or Bosu ball? Those are really important for keeping a knee stable and are often overlooked when it comes to rehab, because so much of the focus is on strength-training the large muscles, but not targeting the stabilizing muscles of the hip and knee.

 

How's your skiing going so far?

post #7 of 8

Yes, I'll echo the need for stability and balance training.  I'm using a SkiA trainer this year.  There are lots of other possibilities.

 

I lost a tremendous amount of balance after my surgeries.  I did have good PT.  They had me standing on one leg, catching a ball, etc.  But I have to revisit that all the time.

 

Make sure your boots are correctly fitted!  You don't want to have to worry about that.  

 

Possibly most important:  stay connected to and listen to your body.  If you're tired, or in pain, stop.  My OS told me it is more than a year, possibly two, for healing.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for notes and the info.  I was on skis for 5 days in Whitefish.  Knee held up pretty good.  As I mentioned, I have worked it hard both big (squat rack at gym) and small muscles (Bosu dome at home).  Was also pleased with the Donjoy Brace - it seems pretty stable.

 

I was skiing with my daughters (4 and 7) so that kept me reasonable on this trip.  Skiing with little ones was helpful in a couple ways - you tend to focus on them and you don't plunge into the back side on run 2.
 

 

After the first few runs, my main focus was to just stay very balanced and stable in my stance and not try to create too many angles with deep GS or SL turns.  So ensuring stance was wide and not leaning into hill was primary focus for the week.  Seemed to work well.   I was on steeps but limited bumps.

 

Overall pleased. 

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