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Broken leg to skiing: expectations?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I am back to full function, and have been for awhile. I had broken my lower tib/fib back in March, and had several screws and an IM rod to set it straight. After my surgery, I was back on my bike (on the road) after 6 weeks, mountain biking after 12 ,and racing after 15. Now, it has been around 8 months, and I am more or less pain-free. I do have pain when running (and a small limp, which means I am not running yet) and side of knee pain from the protruding screws. Muscle strength is close to normal, except around the ankle, which is a little weak.

What should I expect when I get on the hill in a couple of weeks? Should I figure that the constant vibration will be painful on my leg, or will it tend to be no worse than I am experiencing daily? I am not worried about the structural aspect of the bone, more the pain level, and whether I am going to be compensating from one side to the other.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
post #2 of 11
Congrats on the healing and rehap Scott. With your ability and fitness level, I'm sure you will have a very successful year. I don't have broken leg experience, so can't advise, but I've seen you ski and wish I was even close.

Good luck. Welcome back.
post #3 of 11
I shattered my left tib/fib, but I believe my break was more severe than yours. I still have a titanium rod holding my tibia together.

The problems I experienced during my first two season skiing was severe pain if I encountered any hard impacts. There were many days were I would have to stop skiing after just a couple of hours and then limp around the rest of the day. I used a lot of Aleve, Aspirin, Ben Gay, Icy Hot, and similar products.

I also tried different pads and donuts in my boot, but what really made a difference was Bud Heishman putting Intuition Liners into my Salomon Course Axes and padding the area prior to molding.

Last season was the first were I didn't have any major issues. I think that because my tib/fib had actually shattered, it took quite a while for all the pieces grow back together. I am hoping that because you had a clean break, you will not have any of the problems I encountered.
post #4 of 11
While I'm not in your league ski-wise, the best advice I got from my ortho was:

If it hurts, stop. You'll know when.

I would imagine that impacts are going to hurt since your injuries are still 'fresh' and you're still healing. Would you risk re-injury that may put you out another season? The million dollar question.

Ease on down, ease on down the road.
post #5 of 11
I broke my Fibula and had a very bad ankle sprain playing ice hockey at the end of June and am also wondering how I will feel when I hit the slopes this winter. My ankle was rode hard and put away wet in a fiberglass cast for 7 weeks because of the break and was not able to deal with the ankle sprain for that long. The bone hurts once in a while but ligaments and tendons around the ankle area and in the foot hurt at various times. I have done physical therapy but while that helped strengthen my ankle, it produced some wicked tendonitis. That has subsided for the most part now and the orthopedist has cleared me to do anything I want. I am now able to run and am ready to start doing squats and other leg related exercises. So...while I sit here at my desk and watch the flurries fall, I too wonder how everything is going to feel this coming winter! Especially considering I plunked down $$$ for my season pass last week!!!
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses. I will take it slow at first, and see how the leg holds up. I expect it to be sore, but hopefully that will diminish as the season progresses.
post #7 of 11
I fractured my hip socket last year. Sat out last season

I've been cleared to ski this season. I'm going through the same. I know I should be staying on the groomed for this season. It think it's mostly psychological for us. The biggest thing is breaking through our fear and the sense that we're fragile.
post #8 of 11
Have you tried standing and walking around in ski boots yet? It sounds odd, but when coming back from a leg injury, that was one of the most challenging aspects for me. Once I get around that, actual skiing was less of a physical issue and more of a mental one.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post
Have you tried standing and walking around in ski boots yet? It sounds odd, but when coming back from a leg injury, that was one of the most challenging aspects for me. Once I get around that, actual skiing was less of a physical issue and more of a mental one.
Yes, I have. Yikes! My thinly-padded race liners weren't all that comfortable. Not to mention, it brought back visions of the last moment I had my ski boots on: 1 patroller holding open the cuff, one yanking it off after counting to 3, me going white and warm after the worst pain I have ever felt, and seeing my foot hanging off at a 25 degree angle. Not a pleasant memory.

Thanks for the responses. In the past 2 weeks, the leg has felt better and better. I am getting close to being ready: I can feel it!
post #10 of 11
I skied last weekend for the first time since my broken leg. Other than being very nervous and gasping for air during the first few runs, it felt great! There was some leg pain but not enough to keep me from hopefully having a good winter.

So Dawg, get out there and enjoy yourself! While your injury may be in the back of your mind at first, just focus on skiing and what you need to do, and what you have always done, to get down the hill on two planks!
post #11 of 11
Two years ago I suffered a broken fibula in a mt. bike crash (I had the foot hanging at 25 degree sight as well. Kind of freaked me out at first). That was October 9. Had my leg in a cast until Nov. 17. Went through pt and was on skis for the first time on December 22, about 5 weeks later. As others have said I had to take it easy at first. I also quickly found that I had to have my boots adjusted because the broken ankle was much larger and still is.
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