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1st season after ACL repair?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I know there are many on EpicSki who have had ACL reconstruction.  How was your 1st season of skiing after the surgery?  I had my ACL and medial meniscus repaired on 2/11/10 and have been cleared by my orthopod for full activity.  Just wondering what experience others have had their 1st season after surgery.

post #2 of 9

I tore my ACL March 10 2008 and had a hamstring autograft April 10 2008. Started skiing around December 10 that season and have never looked back. I ski bumps and hike a bit, never had a problem. 


1st season after surgery I used a brace, kind of a psychological boost as well as support for the knee. 


Have a great season. 

post #3 of 9

I tore my ACL towards the end of the season (mid-March) about 10-12 years ago.  Surgery occurred 1st of May and I was back on the slopes for the upcoming season.  Grant you it was late Feb-early March, but I was still back on the slopes.  Too, I did not really bomb it ... I really took it easy as my legs were not in good shape at all. And there was the 'mental' aspect as well with some tentative skiing and fear of not wanting to go thru all of the surgery-rehab again.


I did know that I'd ski again, post surgery ... I just made sure that the goal was to ski for a looong time; i.e. for many years to come. For 3-4 years post surgery I wore a leg brace on the affected leg, and after that threw the thing away. I spend a lot of time pre-season every year to get-stay in shape and it helps on the slopes too :).


My biggest advice is to not sell yourself short during rehab and/or post Op exercise.  You can get yourself back to 100%.  Too, the thing I focused on was which was better for me ... ski really hard and bomb it for a few years - or back off a notch or 2 and ski for a long, long time. 

post #4 of 9

I've post some before on this, but had surgery Nov '08 and skied about 10-12 days during spring '09 (March-May).  Was careful and am not sure that returning that quickly is best for everyone, but it worked for me.  Last year, I skied about 80 days without any real issues, but did have a bit of swelling from time to time and tried to avoid too many hard days back to back- usually going out 3 days a week (often for just half a day when I went myself and pushed it hard for about 3 hours).  Although my knee felt moslty strong and stable and I skied without a brace, I perceived it as being slightly more vulnerable.  Although this is fading, it still doesn't feel 100% normal (and my PT says it never does).   


I would echo the recommendations to have your legs in as good a shape as possible (including balance and dynamic exercises) and plan for the long term.  Everyone's situation is unique, so listen to your body, PT and ortho (although they sometimes send mixed messages).


Good luck and enjoy!   

post #5 of 9

Continue to rehab and build your quad strength.  I had a few days at the start of the year that I was mentally freaked out a bit.  It slowly goes away and by the end of the season I was skiing just like I did prior to my injury....minus hucking.  Go slow, take it easy and work your way back into form.  You'll be fine.

post #6 of 9

My experience was a lot like the other posters. Tore my ACL Dec. of '04, I think -- the first ESA Stowe -- and had a corpse graft in Feb '05. Did my PT religiously, got back on the road bike in April, and was back on snow at the next ESA with Stu Campbell as a very supportive coach. Used a custom Donjoy brace for two seasons and then forgot about it. Ibuprofen helped a lot the first few years and I still take it before I ride my bike. And I was 63 when I had my surgery. 

post #7 of 9

here's a similar discussion on this -> ACL


as stated by MTskier, continue to rehab and when you get back out there, don't dwell on what you can't do. instead be happy that you can get back out on the slopes. stop and soak in the views. take more of a european point of view and don't be pre-occupied with counting vertical or skiing 1st lift to closing chair.


Good luck and have fun!

post #8 of 9

Tore mine in october 07 had recon nov 07, ruined skiing that year but the next season was great, got sick of the brace after my second day and havnt had a problem since. I ski bumps,powder and about everything else, gets a little sore after a hard day of skiing but its still solid as a rock. Get out there and tear it up!

post #9 of 9

Had surgery (cadaver graft) March 2008, and was skiing again November 2008. Worst part was in my head the first couple days not wantiing to risk repeating the past recovery/rehab. Then started skiing by feel at reasonable speed rather than cautiously and suddenly everything was fine. Skied 61 days that first season back - 2008/9, the first 14 days of which were in soft rehab boots (80 Lange) until my Kneebindings were mounted and then resumed skiing in medium boots (110 Nordica). Skied 58 days over 2009/10 in the medium boots continuing on the Kneebindings.


I agreed at my surgeon's insistence to wear a powerful CTI custom carbon fiber brace on my recon knee the first 2 seasons back. The problem I had was that my "good" knee would often ache after skiing in soft snow and also after skiing moguls. The recon knee rarely ever ached. I think I was compensating using the recon knee easier than the "good" knee but that wasn't even slightly evident in many videos. The recon knee also had a powerful carbon fiber brace helping it. Last season I experimented with adding a lighter duty brace on my good knee - CTI carbon fiber flex (off shelf), in addition to the prescribed powerful brace on the recon knee. That seemed a lot better, and even wearing two braces I never actually noticed them while actually skiing (very noticeable walking around and on the lift though). Had numerous crashes over the two seasons, and was able to try out every release mode of the Kneebindings. Looking forward to this season and may even get back in my stiff crazy blue boots. Definately planning to stay with the Kneebindings, but am thinking either no braces or two light braces.


For your first day back try to pick a day with good visibility, as seeing well will boost your confidence and keep you from trying to ski too cautiously (holding back is way too stressful). Good Luck and Ski Well! Chris

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