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too soon to return to skiing?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I tore the ACL in my left knee while falling backwards at Killington last year on January 2, 2006. Per my doctor, I started PT soon after and did that until my surgery which was at the end of Feburary. The first few days were bad but I was out of the brace pretty quickly. I did PT 2 to 3 times a week for 9-10 months. I had A LOT of trouble getting back range of motion, very painful. I was even fitted with a dynasplint to gradually force the leg into full extention. I worked very to try and get my knee/leg ready to ski this season. Today, (1/16/07) I still have some discomfort in my knee, it still doesn't feel 100%. I still "know" that I had surgery on it. Whenl ooking at my quad, you can still notice that I lost muscle mass due to atrophy. I have been able to run for short periods of time, but full strength has not returned yet. When doing 10 -20 lbs doing leg extension, I still feel pain. I was just recently fitted with a Townsend brace, so hopefully that will help.
Has anyone experienced this after their ACL repair and do you think it's too soon to click back into the boards?
post #2 of 10
I went skiing today on what most people would call ice. Here we call it firm man made. It was not blue, but hard like concrete, very hard to hold an edge. I watched a whole bunch of instructors, all of them were skidding.

If you worked at it you could find a few spots that gripped, not many.

It was still fun. I'm 10 months post op. Sure I know I had surgery, legs are not 100% but they get better every time out.

You won't know if you don't try. If your doc says OK what are you waiting for?

Read some of "Alta Girl's" posts on TGR
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
thanks for the reply. Good to see how others are dealing with the injury. Was wondering, where did you ski today? I plan on giving it a shot, even though it will not be pretty with the wife. I'm hoping winter shows up and stays here in the northeast so i can get out on the hill.
post #4 of 10
I had my surgery in March of 2005. The 2006 season was a total waste, because I was too afraid to do anything. Like you, I had difficulty regaining range of motion, but for an entirely diffferent reason. I also had to wear that same stupid brace. However, when I returned to skiing, I did not feel any pain whatsoever, until I listened to people and tried skiing with a brace. Moguls were also somewhat painful. I'm not sure if they still would be, and I don't care to find out. Now that I've proven to myself I can ski them, I don't need another ACL tear.

This year, I am slowly regaining confidence. My knee never hurts at all.

One other thought, and I hesitate to say this, since it tends to make people very cranky: The leg extension machine is putting shearing force on your knee that could lead to pain. Try switching to the leg press.

Good luck with your recovery.
post #5 of 10
yup - keep working those quads. Leg press is a great exercise, and you don't have to do "full range" to get benefits.

I've also heard that about extensions and knees - I used to get sore knees when doing them and my ligaments are fine.
post #6 of 10
Talk to your PT or surgeon to get their opinion on if your leg is strong enough for skiing. I certainly wouldn't base it on doing leg extensions, as I've always been told you shouldn't be doing those (ever again) after a knee injury. I think they will always hurt.

Personally, I think balance work and plyometrics are just as important as just strength as measured on a weight machine or muscle size, since it's more of a measure of functional leg strength. When I can do challenging balance work and jump on my surgical leg, that means more to me as far as feeling I'm ready to ski than how much I can lift or if it's a little smaller than my other leg.

As far as feeling 100% - most of the time my knees feel "normal", BUT they're not really the same as they were pre-injury. I'm a much better skier now than I was before my first injury, but there will be days you do too much or are on jarringly hard snow and I definitely feel my knees. Though both of my knees have some cartilege damage (arthritis) which makes that just a fact of life.
post #7 of 10
What had your PT and Doc said re: return to skiing when you finished up PT and had the last visit with the doc? Some of what you've said, such as only being able to run for short periods and the difficulty you had getting ROM back, sounds as if your rehab was possibly more involved than many.

I also second what Altagirl said re: staying away from leg extensions.

Regarding muscle size, it's possible to be back at full strength with the muscle without getting all the old mass back.

Regarding a brace, Dr. Rick on here had some very helpful posts regarding the usefulness or not of braces a few weeks ago.

All that said, if Doc and PT say you're cleared to ski, by all means ski. There's nothing like taking the first fall and realizing the knee is ok to get your confidence fully back.
post #8 of 10
I have been out 6 times now. Yesterday felt really good. Have not fallen yet. Still pretty afraid about that, but confidence, speed and fluidity are coming back more and more.
post #9 of 10
good news!
post #10 of 10
First my ACL's are fine. I had a shadered platue area in my right knee. My Orthopedic told me I may not be able to ski again, I told him, that wasn't a option. That's was in Mar 99. I still ski over 65 day's a season.

From what I've learned though rehab for my knee injury, as altagirl say's work on balance and learning to trust the knee. My first lunge on my knee was a break through for me. After a few weeks my trainer had me doing lunge's holding 5lbs in each hand. I did all kinds of balance work and even impressed him with things I came up with to give me a better work out. I would stand on my repaired leg on a disc that had half a ball under it. I then took the 6lb medican ball and rotated it around my body.

You can comeback strong, all you need is the desire to be back where you left off. Me trainer had me post a photo of how I wanted to ski again, good body position and lots of angulation. I looked at that photo while doing my workout's. My trainer has worked with high level skiers and socer players. He was great, knew lots of things to keep me entertained.

Good luck to you, you can do it.
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