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post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I lurk more than post here on epic. I posted about a recent injury of the gear board but my questions probably can't be answered. They center around me whining that my binding should have released; wasn't a big fall; blah blah blah..

I completely tore my ACL, have a grade II MCL tear and torn lateral meniscus. It happened in West Bowl on April 1st at Mammoth Mountain. Hard to describe how it happened but I have it on video. At best it was a slow fall but it really wasn't a fall at all until my knee dislocated.

I go in for surgery next week. I've skied all of my life and planned to spend my retirement years skiing. I'm 47 and had spent lots of time working my legs in the gym. I was feeling really good about my skiing and the kind of shape I was in. Life has a way of humbling one, sigh...

It's nice to see this board. A friend pointed me to a board about knee injuries but I'm far more comfortable my psychosis will be understood here by other skiers.

So here I go - surgey next week followed by lots of work in the gym. I hope to be back out there next spring.

PS. during the week ending April 1st the US Nationals were being held at Mammoth. I got to see Miller and Rahlves run the downill. It was great! At the bottom of the mountain there were vendors hawking their gear. One of the tents had high tech knee braces. I remember being amused by it as we glided by... I guess the joke is on me (April 1st no less).
post #2 of 17
Welcome. There are many of us who will comisserate with you. I think it's much harder on those of us who were in shape before it happened, than it is on the couch potatos that just happen to ski on weekends. We not only have to give up skiing for awhile, we can't get to the gym.

I'm not going to try to make it pretty for you. Search the Health & Fitness Forum. There are some devastating threads. I will tell you this: 8 weeks later, it is much better. The pain will go away, you will gradually get your range of motion back.
Remember, it's even okay for guys to cry!
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
LM thanks for your reply. I've been reading this board this afternoon and it has really helped my mood. I feel like there are kindred spirits here.

It's pretty easy to get depressed about this. I've been skiing since I was 4 and have had experiences in this sport that nothing in my life could replace. Currently I'm lucky enough to be the dad my kids and their friends want to ski with. For the last 7 years I've watched a group of kids go from greens to double blacks. I've got to come back to ski with these little rippers again. I was at a school event the other night and I found myself surronded by young boys who I've skied with. Here I was leaning on my crutches and these guys were saying "dude not you - no way". I was smiling and playing it down but I was also fighting back the tears. OK - getting a bit sappy here - sorry.

So I've been doing the pre-op rehab and have good extension and flexion; can ride a stationary bike and can do some modest work with weights. It will be interesting to see how things go post-op. Time will tell... Thanks again for the welcome.
post #4 of 17
No problem. Keep in mind that the depression is normal. No matter how many people tell you that this is no big deal, in reality, it is. I found that the more I tried to "suck it up," the more depressed I became. But like I said, it passes. They joke about me in PT. When I first started, I would not talk to anyone. Now, they can't shut me up.

Another thing to bear in mind is that the pain meds, if you're not a "druggie" person, have a subtle effect on your moods. I look back at some of the things I wrote, and say, "Geez, was I feeling that bad?" If you start getting really low, remind yourself it's just the meds, and try not to do anything foolish.
post #5 of 17
I feel for you. It's been a year and 8 days for my big injury. Been skiing for 42 years and never really injured myself. Last year May 5th Mammoth Mountain, I broke my Femur. I'm back skiing hard and enjoying being back out on the mountain. Keep a positive spirit and keep us up on your rehab.

Your experience will help many others here as well.

post #6 of 17
I read about your injury in the gear post, and the phantom foot link. It does sound to me like you had your weight in a position relative to your knee that allowed the rear of the ski and ski boot back to do the damage. The reason the binding didn't release is because the force on the binding at that moment is relatively small and the direction of that force the same when compared to the forces many people normally apply to the tails of their skis, BUT when they apply these forces their body mass is typically not that far behind their knee (nor perhaps as far sideways).

The injury probably wouldn't happen in agressive skiing because you would be more forward. Most injuries happen when you least expect them. I've been hurt in sparing much more than in tournament fighting. The last couple of falls I've had on skis were on easy slopes (or skiing to the chair lift if you can believe it).

Injury-induced depression can be worse than the injury. Don't bother sucking it up; just accept it, ignore it and let it go away. Since you knee is out of commision, use the time to work on something else. See if you can work up to doubling your bench press for example, or improve your arm stroke swimming arms only. I did the opposite a couple of years ago, swimming across lakes using feet only with my busted shoulder. My daughter accompanied me. At least I had an excuse for why she could swim circles around me.
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the support everyone.

My OS likes to wait for the knee to recover a bit and I've been working out daily. I'm walking pretty good right now so I suppose it's time to drill a hole in this knee

I'm off to watch my daughters softball tourny. It's good to live through your kids at times like these.

Hey DChan lots of spring snow at Mammoth. Hope you get to go.
post #8 of 17
Every surgeon has a different opinion as to when the actual surgery should happen. My OS wanted it done ASAP, but that could have been because he knew I had a fitness studio that was losing money by being closed. I was nowhere near full range of motion by the time of surgery, and that may have been why I had difficulty getting it back post op.

Two really important things:

For some odd reason, my OS does not believe in the CPM (continuous passive movement) machine. Others who have had the same surgery seemd to recover much faster.

Post Op, Get Thee to PT ASAP!!!!! The longer you wait, the harder it will be.
post #9 of 17
PTs are the best!
post #10 of 17
Glad to hear things are so much better. Tomorrow I go in for my second meniscus
tear on the other leg. The first one was about a year and a half ago and it is completely healed. This one feels less painful pre-op so I am optimistic. I have to dance at my daughter's wedding this summer.
Bobski- Good luck with everything.
post #11 of 17
Hey bobski,

Good luck with your surgery. Keep in mind that all the "baddness" post op, meaning the first couple of days after, SUCK. But they are temporary, thank god! The real process starts the day you go in for your first physical therapy session. And it is just that: a process. Getting your strength and range of motion back will happen in time. It happens in tiny, sometimes unmeasurable moments, but all of a sudden you'll go, "Hey! I can bend my knee! When did that get so easy?!"

Hang on for a serious ride, man. The emotional rollercoaster is coming your way! Its easy to say, "Oh yeah, I'm ready". If you've never had knee surgery, nothing can prepare you for the reality of going from 60 to zero in one blink of an eye. Just take it one day at a time.

I just had my right ACL (can you say "driving leg"?: ) reconstructed and a few stitches to tighten up my meniscus put in for good (pain) measure. I am now 4 and a half weeks post op (who's counting), and I am finally pain med free (coherant), crutch-free, and on my way to feeling way way better.

I, like you, have been skiing for years before this injury. My husband and I have been having these conversations for decades about how we are going to travel and ski anywhere we want when the kids are off on their own, and then this happens. There was never any choice for me--in order to ski again, slice and dice. It makes me wince every time someone asks me how I injured myself, and when I answer "skiing", they automatically say, "oh, so I guess no more skiing, huh?" Say what?:

Anyway, in case you are still in the shopping for surgeon stage, make sure you have a sports doc do you, and then make sure you see a PT who understands your athleticallly oriented goals, not someone who just wants to make sure you can walk without a limp (though that's important, too). I was told to ask how many surgeries they do a year. Important that they do a hundred as opposed to 3. It needs to be second nature to them. The form of what graft is not as important, apparently, as how skilled the surgeon is in what he prefers.

bobski--I ramble! Good luck with everything! Welcome to the board! Keep thinking of those little rippers you'll be whoopin on next year! That Mammoth snow will be there next year, just waiting for you. You can do it.
post #12 of 17
Originally Posted by Ghost
PTs are the best!
Oh yeah. Love em, hate em, bring em muffins every Friday morning because you wouldn't be where you are without em.
post #13 of 17
Originally Posted by bobski
surgey next week followed by lots of work in the gym. I hope to be back out there next spring.
Far to conservative. When I did mine, I had surgery the last week of June and was skiing in early Dec the same year.

I re-habbed myself as I wasn't able to locate any first rate therapists where I was living. I spent a ton of time on my mtn. bike and doing isometric exercises. I did ski with a brace for almost all the first season, except at the end of that season when I was skiing easy groomers.

It took a year before I could walk without a noticeable limp when I carried anything heavy and about 1 1/2 years before I could run without a noticeable limp. Now that leg is stronger than the other....and all effects are gone and I have 98 % range of motion. I was 41 when I had my surgery.

Get cut......ski next fall !

Best of luck----UL
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 

2 days post op

I guess the skiing gods are smiling on me. The surgery went well (although it did take 4 hours which freaked my wife a bit). I'm stunned by how good I feel. I have 0 degrees extension and 90+ flexion with relative ease. I can do quad sets and leg lifts and put weight on it without a crutch. I've even got the bathroon regimen back on schedule. I am very thankful!

Thanks to everyone for all of your kind thoughts, I'm sure the good skier karma helped. I'll be at the PT on Monday and I know this guy, he's a stud and he will push me. My OS and I are also friends and he is a skier.

Perhaps the biggest thing for me was a 7 week wait prior to surgey. My doc wanted to do that beacuse my injury had a pretty severe bone contusion. The only downside that I've heard is I lost about 30% of my lateral meniscus. All of the PT, bike riding, modest weight lifting prior to surgery must have helped some. Wating for 7 weeks produced a lot of anxiety and some pretty bad moods. I can honestly say today that I'm in a great mood and am sure I will be back!

I guess patience is the rule now. No tennis or surfing this summer - oh well...

Good luck to everyone else going through this. PLease feel free to reach out to me if you want to talk or see the video of my accident.

post #15 of 17
Madbee, good luck with your surgery!
Bobski, this is good news. While the 7 weeks of waiting may have caused depression, I believe that this is why you are getting your ROM back so soon. Believe me, it's far better than being depressed after surgery because you can't even pedal a bicycle!

Maybe in December, we should have a Gimps Get Back Gathering in Summit County!
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
If you do let me know - I'd love to join you
post #17 of 17
My miniscus tear surgery went fine. After two days I stopped needing pain pills and it isn't bothering me much. It is a week and it is only slightly sore and I have pretty good mobility. Maybe skiing on it a lot and going back to pilotes helped keep the rest of the leg strong. I don't want to hurt it, but they do have my favorite roller blade bunny slope (mem drive) closed to traffic on Sundays. With knee pads of course.

The Gimps Gathering sounds great.
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