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BAD KNEE: Ski or Board??

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Ok i know im gonna get some hate with this thread as its a ski forum and there are a lot of board haters here.

However, my knee is getting reconstructed at the end of Nov(07) and my Dr. says its a year rehab minimum.

Im not sure how confident im gonna with my knee next ski season, so I was thinking of maybe taking up boarding.

My logic is that boarding, mentally, will be easier to do with my new knee. Since my legs will be strapped in, there will be less mental anguish over the thought of falling.

On the flip side im a much much better skier having only boarded 2x in my life and would fall less on skis.

Scientifically isnt boarding safer for the lower extremeties than skiing?

What do you guys think?
post #2 of 17
You're less likely to hurt your knee simply by falling if you're freeriding without jumping in softboots. Getting off the lift with only one foot strapped in, solely imo, presents some risk of a "twisting" type fall that could hurt your MCL, but solely imo you'd be harder-pressed to blow your ACL by falling getting off the lift. (I'm sure it's been done, but think it's much less likely.)

Allografts can take a full year to get "up to strength" in terms of the graft itself; autografts subject to a host of variables can rehab quicker. By Nov '08, though, if you have a successful rehab you'll be at the 1-year mark. If your Doc and PT say you're good to go at that point, I don't know that your knee rehab itself would be a reason to choose between riding and skiing.

Good luck with the reconstruction and rehab!
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hmmm...i forgot about the getting on and off lift thing with a board on. The hill by my house has very steep lift exit ramps, last time i boarded there I fell 50% of the time getting off a lift.

I guess im not that worried about redamaging the knee (well not now as i havent had surgery yet so its easy for me to be optomistic); what I am worried about is my confidence lvl that first winter with my new knee. Having boarded I just have it in the back of my mind that being strapped into that board will feel safer that first winter than having 2 free moving boards...
post #4 of 17
I skied and boarded last winter, 6 months after ACL reconstruction. Both felt awesome, although I was clearly more aware of the rotational torque with the board while loading and unloading chairlifts. That was actually the weirdest and scariest feeling. Skiing felt much more natural, but then I've been skiing many, many more days than boarding...
post #5 of 17
Try telemark. It builds knee/leg strength like you wouldn't believe. It's actually very kind to knees.
post #6 of 17
In general, skiers are at greater risk of leg injuries than boarders, and boarders are at greater risk of arm injuries than skiers. Pick your poison.
post #7 of 17
You are less likely to injure your knee boarding, you are correct about that, so on one hand, your thinking makes sense. The season after having my ACL repaired, I only boarded. And that was actually per my surgeons recommendation.

HOWEVER....I was as comfortable on a board as I was on skis. I had done both for many years prior to the injury. I had further motivation to stick with a board the first year b/c the injury happened skiing. You are obviously much more comfortable skiing, so that has to be taken into consideration.

Also, you will find that post-op it will take some time to get confidence back with any thing (running, skiing, boarding, etc) you do, but that in time, you will feel confident doing anything you choose. I tore my knee up completely jumping -- I thought I would never spin in the air on skis again simply b/c I never wanted to go through that rehab again. My injury was in 2000. In the 2006 ski season I got up the courage to spin some 360s and built up from there. So it took 6 years for me to really feel comfortable and have the courage to try something that I did all the time before the injury...I am sure some people progress quicker than that. Knock on wood, by the end of the season, I had completely forgotten about all of that (logical) fear I had in my mind.

Good luck. There will be times when you hate the rehab/recovery, but in the end, you will be happy.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Powdr View Post
Try telemark. It builds knee/leg strength like you wouldn't believe. It's actually very kind to knees.
Consider it part of your rehab.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post
Consider it part of your rehab.
A number of people with cartilage issues who've taken up tele actually report that the subjective discomfort goes away (and stays away even for summer sports) after they make the switch. The mechanism is unclear but seemingly very real and there even for the big boot and plate crowd. Very interesting stuff.
post #10 of 17

tele...

I have experienced subjective improvement after switching to tele. I have limited remaining cartilage in one knee, and while not completely pain-free, don't have any problems with telemark skiing. I also bike and play ice hockey, which also work for me. I don't run on asphalt, though.

YMMV, though.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Wow some great advice!!! I will take all into consideration. And thank you for the inspiration!

Cant wait till next winter...:
post #12 of 17
Depends what knee I think. Which knee and do you ride regular or goofy?

I am s skier so take this for waht it is worth.

I think the actual "riding" has less to do with potential injury / discomfort than the load / unload / lift ride. I cringe at some of the knee contortions I see the kids doing when only one boot is buckled in and again at the dangling board on the lift ride.
post #13 of 17
Getting of the lift can be done without contortions if you are careful. I find keeping the back hand on the edge of the chair as long as possible helps keep steady getting off. That's one good tip I got sometime after I really needed it. Also placing the rear foot so that it drags slightly can be helpful. Lean forward! I've been riding regular stance for years and have no switch skills, but if I blew my left knee, I would probably learn all over again goofy, right foot (leg, knee) forward. Being slow and on an easy hill is good if you are trying not to stress a weakened joint. Go slow, be precise, avoid falls, = steady progress.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
I normally ride with my left leg forward. Im a bit ambidextrious though and could probably learn the right leg forward thing no problem.

Getting off the lift can be a challenge depending on how busy it is and if i have a rookie getting off next to me; but i usually do ok.

Im thinking my decision next winter will be based more upon wether I feel more comfortable falling on my knee, or twisting it. If I feel confident about falling on it, then I will probably board for the first part of the winter; If falling on my knee concerns me but i feel ok twisting it, then i'll ski.

Hopefully I dont lack so much confidence in it that I am afraid of both twisting and falling on the knee.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Powdr View Post
Try telemark. It builds knee/leg strength like you wouldn't believe. It's actually very kind to knees.
+1

Great for the leg strength, good to the knees. And you can start working yourself toward really rewarding O-B adventures.

And no, I don't tele. I have - and it's fun. If/when the knees start to act up I'll free the heel and have at it.
post #16 of 17
Yeah, I'd say tele is probably the best on knees eventually but the worst while you're getting good. You spend a lot of time twisted into interesting shapes. As a rank beginner, my funky knees weren't real happy, but OTOH, no lasting damage.

Boards would be almost as easy eventually and lot easier while learning. Big literature on this, different kinds of injuries: Wrists, lower back, broken legs instead of ripped knees.

Skiing will be the worst of both worlds; if you come back use Tyrolias. Or rather use Tyrolias after you can squat 450 15 times.

Actually I'd vote for tele. Watching someone take a knee on a crazy backcountry slope is waaay cooler than watching a boarder take air, and tele guys have aerobic numbers that approach cross-country skiers (best in all sports)
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by pattongb View Post
Ok i know im gonna get some hate with this thread as its a ski forum and there are a lot of board haters here.

However, my knee is getting reconstructed at the end of Nov(07) and my Dr. says its a year rehab minimum.

Im not sure how confident im gonna with my knee next ski season, so I was thinking of maybe taking up boarding.

My logic is that boarding, mentally, will be easier to do with my new knee. Since my legs will be strapped in, there will be less mental anguish over the thought of falling.

On the flip side im a much much better skier having only boarded 2x in my life and would fall less on skis.

Scientifically isnt boarding safer for the lower extremeties than skiing?

What do you guys think?
IMHO, you don't change your format, you change where you go, for how long, basically your attitude. If you skied before, you ski after. If you boarded before, you board after. It's not the time to learn anything new if you have a bad knee. Especially when both skiing and boarding probably aren't the best if you're recovering ( unless you're really careful, I skied when my knee was recovering, so I know from personal experience. No surgery though, even though some doctors recomended that I line their pocket book by having it done. It took some time, but now it's back to 100%, naturally. Thank God I didn't listen to those doctors. Just my opinion from my personal experience. Your results will vary. )

Good luck, I've been there ( but you can still enjoy the mountains/powder with a weak knee, IMHO ).
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