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Ski injuries.
Posted: 16 December 2009 08:49 PM  
Total Posts:  27
Joined  2007-10-02


On Friday a friend of mine did his anterior cruiate ligament 1st run, on 1st day out this season. Bloody Scottish snow fences!

Would like to be able to tell him something positive, we both know it will be a long haul. He’s not had any surgery yet, I assume from the little I’ve seen that this is the best option for anyone active. Anyone any experience of this sort of injury?


[ Edited: 16 December 2009 09:08 PM by petern]
Posted: 16 December 2009 10:27 PM   [ # 1 ]  
Total Posts:  2234
Joined  2003-10-24

I’ve had a couple of friends with ACL, one a sailor and the other a skier. In the case of the sailor she broken one ligament when she was getting off her sailing boat and it moved in the water. She didn’t have surgery and the broken ligament fused with the other ligament and she regained most of the function of her knee. The skier broke her ligament skiing and again without surgery it seems to have repaired itself, she wore a knee brace. She saw the same surgeon I saw for my broken ankle (the best guy in Grenoble) and he advised not to operate at that juncture. She is skiing again. In both cases they couldn’t do much sport for 6 months. She is 1 case in a thousand though.

I snapped a tendon in my thumb skiing and eventually had to have surgery as I had no strenght for gripping objects.

Anyway, without being better informed I wouldn’t think your friend would be skiing without a brace until the spring, if not next season. I think you really need to give these things some time but, speaking from experience, it is very frustrating.

Posted: 17 December 2009 01:37 PM   [ # 2 ]  
Sr. Member
Total Posts:  270
Joined  2008-01-31

possible long-term “side effects” on the knee from the kinds of accidents that often cause ligament injuries ...
report of a recent (sobering) finding:

Posted: 18 December 2009 08:29 PM   [ # 3 ]  
Total Posts:  60
Joined  2008-11-16

As a surgeon myself I can add a little to this topic…

The ACL tear is obviously a very common skiers injury and many people who tear it continue to enjoy skiing for a very long time. That statement includes both those who have repairs and those who dont, although I dont think that competitive or serious ski mountaineering is too advisable with a torn ACL which will allow significant pivot and travel in the knee joint.

If you’re an active person, I would have it repaired as the long term outcome is a reduction in the chance of arthritis in the joint.

In terms of timing of surgery, at the moment the knee will be full of blood from the tear. This will take many weeks to resolve and during this time the knee will be very stiff.

Surgery should not be contemplated until at least 3 months after injury, there are various operations with different pros and cons and surgeon preferences. Recovery after operation will be 6 months back to athletic standard - some elite athletes manage it in much less.

Anyway, there is a little overview which I hope is some help.

PS: I remember those little fences well, but with no fondness

Posted: 20 December 2009 03:49 PM   [ # 4 ]  
Total Posts:  1
Joined  2009-12-20

I tore my left knee ACL 3 years ago in Zermatt after a great day off piste, rather stupidly not concentrating on a short schuss on piste at the end of the day. The injury was in the March, I delayed having the operation until September, so I could do a full sailing season, and was cleared to ski again in the following April. It is a long boring recovery, and the first 3 months you have to be particularly careful as the new ligament needs to bond to the bone properly.

First time back I was a bit nervous, and I still sub-consciously try and protect the left knee. But it is strong, and absolutely fine now. You can consider not having surgery and the kneee does partically stabilise, but if you are young-ish and want to remain active, you should go ahead and get the op done. This season is now written off, so get the op done by easter and you should be good for the beginning of next season. Good luck