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Bracing an ACL Injury?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I suffered a complete tear to my right ACL this past summer playing soccer. I had injured my left ACL four years ago and had a hamstring autograft to repair it. (Did that playing soccer as well) I was not particularly happy with the laxity in the left ACL repair so I decided to ask around and find a new doctor. Much to my surprise, the new orthopedic surgeon suggested that I could postpone the surgery until after the ski season. I went to the appointment assuming that my ski season was done and did not even ask about trying to salvage the season. I am currently trying to evaluate whether this is a good idea.

I typically ski in Vermont. I am a level nine skier and tend to spend a good portion of my ski days in the bumps or in the woods. Obviously, with this injury I would have to cut back on the moguls and trees. I have skied with a Donjoy ACL brace on my left knee since that surgery and certainly believe that it gives me additional support. However, I am not sure about using a brace to stabilize a still unrepaired knee injury. I have not lost much leg strength and I have been able to get through my preseason weight training and conditioning regiment without any problems. I was wondering if others in the group had skied with an ACL tear. How much instability did people notice? Did the wear and tear of a ski season end up doing additional damage to meniscus cartilage or other ligaments in the knee? Were you still able to feel comfortable on bumpy or very steep terrain?

Thanks for the feedback.

post #2 of 9
I skied 1/2 season with a full ACL tear, though I didn't know it at the time. Steeps were fine but bumps were a problem. I'm not that great in the bumps anyway but the knee injury dropped it down a level and hurt. Some cartilage damage resulted, hopefully all cleared up now that I had surgery.

But I was using a cheapo drugstore brace (neoprene with some hinged metal along the sides) -- nothing like the support of a Donjoy.

Good luck.
post #3 of 9
I've skied the last twelve years without an ACL. I only found out it was blown after ten, and at my doctor's advice started to wear a brace. I have no arthritus or meniscus damage. I ski 40-80 days a year, former racer, volunteer ski patrol.

I use a non custom donjoy, which apparently gives more all round support than an acl specific brace.
post #4 of 9
Skied for 25 years without an ACL---first ten years with a brace, then after that without. At 46 years old, my leg strength had declined such that I started noticing more perceived instability, especially when doing big rounder GS turns or quick bumps. Had a "spontaneous" meniscal tear last August, which I had trimmed out, and then skied 50 days on it last season. I noticed more instability, but I was already planning on ACL repair in June (which I've now done), so I figured the worst thing that would happen is that I really blew it out at which point they'd have to fix it anyway...so I was able to go the whole season. Doc says that my relative light weight (150lbs.) and dedication to keeping my leg strong was why I had been able to "get away with it" all these years, and that if I had weighed more, it probably would have caught up with me much sooner. Hope this helps...good luck!:
post #5 of 9
I use a off the shelf donjoy for skiing. Tore my MCL and ACL last year. Haven't had surgery yet (it would be surgery # 3 on my right knee). Maybe next spring.
I like my donjoy, it seems to do the trick.
post #6 of 9
[quote=doogiedoc;583819] At 46 years old, my leg strength had declined such that I started noticing more perceived instability,QUOTE]

I think the key is the instability. If it is stable, go ahead and ski. If it is not, you will screw up other parts of the knee.
post #7 of 9
Without an ACL, it is much easier to tear a meniscus. While the ACL can be replaced, if the docs can't repair the meniscus, you will be much more likely to develop arthritis in your knee which can lead to a knee replacement. I certainly think you can ski but you should wear a brace while skiing to minimize the risk of meniscal injuries.
post #8 of 9

I was misdiagnosed three years ago with osgood schlatters syndrome, as it turns out i might have torn my ACL, MCL, or my meniscus, and if it is not that it is the soft tissue in both of my knees which means i have to get steroid shots  not good. I am a very active middle schooler, I absolutely love sports to death but i am prevented from doing anything because of this injury. I recently wanted to take on track, because i love running as well but i went to my doctors and they said that it was not a good idea. I look at everyone doing all of their sports and i choke up and then cry uncontrollably. I don't remember if I herd or felt a pop but i do have a lot of pain and i collapse a ton as well, but like i said i did it three years ago, and i also don't have the best memory. My knees do shake when i go down a flight of stairs, and last weekend i fell down them because my knees gave out. They also swell up a lot and that's not fun at all. I'm going to the doctors soon wish me luck!!! 

post #9 of 9

good luck

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