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Torn MCL and fractured Tibia (In 2 places)

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Not sure how I did not come across this site until now, been doing random searches on this for 6 weeks, today. 

Just some brief description of the accident, then to "fun" of the injury.

For the last few years, I have been traveling to Salida, CO to spend time with family who are retiring there, and we ski at Ski Monarch, an hour or so from Breckenridge, on a good travel day.  This made the 3rd straight year I had traveled there from the DC area, and the 15th year in a row I have skied, first accident.

On day 3 of my 10 day vacation, first day of skiing, about 6 hours in, last run for the day, I had an unfortunate accident.  My father and I were skiing a rundown teh center of the mountain, that was really 2 runs side-by-side.  I was rather tired, as it was my first day in a year, and the altitude change from DC, I took the groomed(blue) run, next to a mogul(blue) run, that my father took.  I was on the right side of the run, took a casual left turn across the run, caught an edge that spun me backwards.  No big deal, right?  I put my backwards wedge to either stop or spin my self back around...what I did not notice is that I was cutting across the run at an angle, and before I knew it, the back tips of my skis dug into the icy mogul run, and flipped me, a couple of backflips, a couple of cartwheels, and some splits my body was not prepared to do...skis never popped off the binding.

Ski patrol had to come get me down, rather interesting to ride in the little cases they use to get you off, wish I had it video-taped.  Spent the next few hours in the ER, day after had to go see an Orthopedic Surgeon and get an MRI....fractured the left Tibia at the very top-center of the bone, compression fracture on the outside of the Tibia, and a grade-3 torn (not complete, more shredded) MCL.  The Ortho I saw in CO said I needed Arthoscopic surgery, but insurance would not cover me out of network, so had to fly home to DC...let's just say, the flight process 3 days after the injury is stories in and of itself.  :)

Get home, get referral to local Ortho, get CT scan, he says no surgery...interesting, which DR is right/wrong?

I am now 6 weeks to the day, into the injury and still on crutches.  The first few weeks, I was stuck in a non-bendable knee brace, about 3 weeks ago, I was finally upgraded to a bendable knee brace, limited to a 40 degree range of motion the first 10 days, then 80 degrees the next 10 days.  This past visit, I was given a full range of motion, and told to come back in 2 weeks for X-Rays, to see how to proceed.  

How is PT going to be, out of curiosity?  I have stopped wearing the brace around the house, and try to stretch, and bend it as much as possible...I can finaly bend it to about 95-100 degrees, and am able to stretch it straight, when standing, but for example, while sitting on a bed/couch, where the other leg I can stretch straight enough that the back of my knee can easily tough the fabric, my busted knee can't.  

I assume I will start PT in 2 weeks, but are there things I can do for the next 2 weeks to help the process along?  How much pain should I expect with PT?  I know people have different thresholds for pain, but, as most of you can understand, at 6 weeks, and having anoter 2, at least, I am READY to get off the crutches.

Thanks for any insight into your own experiences.
post #2 of 3

Sounds like I have the exact same injury and a very similar story. Expect a duhbrain caused me to crash. I am day 5 in to the injury and doctors are debating whether or not to have surgery. The big question is how much damage has been done to the PCL. The MCL is detached from the bone. The spinal tibia broke and there's a fracture on the side of the knee as well.


I am in a brace with side supports but no support to the back of the knee with the hope that gravity will pull it straight which calls for much needed pain meds. 


What are the cost/benefits of surgery. What is the recovery like with the two different options? I want to keep skiing, rock climbing and living life.



Hope you are back at it!!!

post #3 of 3
Generally the MCL will not require a sx repair, that said when I exp a grade 2 MCL tear in college.... It was very dibilitating & I quickly packed on the lbs.

The MCL injury took a good year to feel that I had regained my stability.

At day 5, there may be considerable edema yet to resolve, as this occurs the clinical & functional picture often becomes clearer.

I wailed advise that you remain as active as possible & acknowledge that you may not be burning as many calories.

Best wishes on a speedy recovery & keep us posted!
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