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  1. #376
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    Jun 2022
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    Boston
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    Need some advice, hopefully positive mojo to get me through to next year.

    Mid-January while on a big trip to BC I tore my left ACL, bucket handle meniscus tear, and sheared off a nice chunk of cartilage. Surgery 1 month ago (ACL repair with quad autograft, meniscus repair, and internal fixation of cartilage). Non weight bearing for another couple weeks (surgeon being conservative because of the meniscus and cartilage), lots of time in the CPM, PT 3x/week now with extreme focus on regaining extension. Plan on rehabbing hard as soon as I can be weight bearing.

    From reading various forums, I'm getting the feeling that I will be on mellow groomers for much of next season.

    What say you who've been in a similar situation? Is next season just about getting comfortable mentally and physically, or can I plan on some fun skiing. I I assume planning a ski trip out West is not a good idea until I have a better sense of how the knee feels. If I'm stuck on groomers, I'm considering buying a slalom ski or something more front-side oriented and sticking some Protector bindings on them.

    About me: ~40y old, usually get 50days in a season. 40 at resort, 10 in backcountry. Was running 30-40miles/wk last year in anticipation of this season after realizing how aerobically deficient I am. Running those kind of mileages this summer is looking unlikely, and I'm hearing I should consider switching my cardio to a bike instead, which doesn't really get me jazzed either.

  2. #377
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    Quote Originally Posted by eastcoasttreehugger View Post
    Need some advice, hopefully positive mojo to get me through to next year.

    Mid-January while on a big trip to BC I tore my left ACL, bucket handle meniscus tear, and sheared off a nice chunk of cartilage. Surgery 1 month ago (ACL repair with quad autograft, meniscus repair, and internal fixation of cartilage). Non weight bearing for another couple weeks (surgeon being conservative because of the meniscus and cartilage), lots of time in the CPM, PT 3x/week now with extreme focus on regaining extension. Plan on rehabbing hard as soon as I can be weight bearing.

    From reading various forums, I'm getting the feeling that I will be on mellow groomers for much of next season.

    What say you who've been in a similar situation? Is next season just about getting comfortable mentally and physically, or can I plan on some fun skiing. I I assume planning a ski trip out West is not a good idea until I have a better sense of how the knee feels. If I'm stuck on groomers, I'm considering buying a slalom ski or something more front-side oriented and sticking some Protector bindings on them.

    About me: ~40y old, usually get 50days in a season. 40 at resort, 10 in backcountry. Was running 30-40miles/wk last year in anticipation of this season after realizing how aerobically deficient I am. Running those kind of mileages this summer is looking unlikely, and I'm hearing I should consider switching my cardio to a bike instead, which doesn't really get me jazzed either.
    I’d plan on mellow groomers. If you bust your ass in rehab and get your repaired leg quad strength back to the same as the good leg you can ski more. That takes awhile and the mental part takes awhile too. I started out mellow groomers this year and have eased my way back into skiing “normal” stuff, variable snow, etc…. Gotta be patient, rehab like a madman, and don’t expect much.


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  3. #378
    Join Date
    Jun 2022
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    Quote Originally Posted by montanaskier View Post
    I’d plan on mellow groomers. If you bust your ass in rehab and get your repaired leg quad strength back to the same as the good leg you can ski more. That takes awhile and the mental part takes awhile too. I started out mellow groomers this year and have eased my way back into skiing “normal” stuff, variable snow, etc…. Gotta be patient, rehab like a madman, and don’t expect much.


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    Thanks for this. What about touring resort laps for exercise? I assume thats doable the first year?

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  4. #379
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    Mar 2008
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    northern BC
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    You will hear all kinds of anecdotes but the PT told me don't do anything stupid for the 1st 9 months and its going to take 3 yrs to completely recover
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  5. #380
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    Dec 2007
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    monument
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    I'm a three time soft tissue injury in roughly the last decade and have some anecdata to provide:

    2015 right ACL; hamstring allograft
    Didn't PT long enough really and skied at 6 months post-op (not smart, but nothing bad happened).

    2021 Ruptured left Achilles.
    No fun and no joke; 5 weeks no weight bearing.
    One must PT completely (and I did).
    Skied at 8 months post-op.

    2023 left ACL; hamstring allograft.
    PT'ed soft ... then PT'ed HARD!
    Just started my Pretirement and skied at about 8 months + a week post-op
    Skiing strong and charging with uncompromised line choices (albeit, until recently for just half days).
    Skied 22 days in the last 35.

    Feel great ... and tired.


  6. #381
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    Jun 2022
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfluffenmeister View Post
    I'm a three time soft tissue injury in roughly the last decade and have some anecdata to provide:

    2015 right ACL; hamstring allograft
    Didn't PT long enough really and skied at 6 months post-op (not smart, but nothing bad happened).

    2021 Ruptured left Achilles.
    No fun and no joke; 5 weeks no weight bearing.
    One must PT completely (and I did).
    Skied at 8 months post-op.

    2023 left ACL; hamstring allograft.
    PT'ed soft ... then PT'ed HARD!
    Just started my Pretirement and skied at about 8 months + a week post-op
    Skiing strong and charging with uncompromised line choices (albeit, until recently for just half days).
    Skied 22 days in the last 35.

    Feel great ... and tired.

    Good to hear, thank you! I plan on treating the PT as primary job so hopefully next season will surprise to upside

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  7. #382
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    May 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by eastcoasttreehugger View Post
    Thanks for this. What about touring resort laps for exercise? I assume thats doable the first year?

    Sent from my Pixel 7 using Tapatalk
    I’ve toured the resort but again it sort of depends on how recover. Like stated earlier,
    I’d plan on a very gradual uptick into “regular” skiing. I did 30k vert yesterday, my biggest vert day of the year. Zero way I could have done that in Nov or Dec….just ease back in.


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  8. #383
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    Feb 2007
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    Philly, PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by montanaskier View Post
    I’ve toured the resort but again it sort of depends on how recover. Like stated earlier,
    I’d plan on a very gradual uptick into “regular” skiing. I did 30k vert yesterday, my biggest vert day of the year. Zero way I could have done that in Nov or Dec….just ease back in.


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    Awesome. How far out from surgery are you now?

  9. #384
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    Feb 2007
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    Philly, PA
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    Bumping this as Mrs Duff had her surgery yesterday . A couple of interesting findings...
    1- The "high grade near complete proximal ACL partial tear" (as read on MRI) had actually stabilized nicely (as expected by me given her significantly improved Lachmans test ). The surgeon found the ligament was mostly intact but had laxity, so she was able to do an internal brace repair to reduce the laxity and strengthen it. So good news from a recovery standpoint there , and no graft site morbidity to deal with

    2-The vertical lateral meniscus tear seen on MRI and the likely source of most of her discomfort was more extensive than on MRI with a complex radial component as well. This was suture repaired which long term is way better than a resection , but she is now 4-6 weeks of minimal weight bearing and in a locked extension brace except for PT.

    Win some lose some.


    So the good news is the ACL was in pretty good shape , and adds to the recent evidence that partial proximal tears do have a decent capacity to heal more than traditionally thought. The complex meniscus repair will totally slow down the initial rehab period, but a full return to skiing and such should be possible by 6 months or so compared to 9 or more for a full ACLr

  10. #385
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    8,981

    ACL Class of 2017

    That’s pretty great news about the acl! I hope the healing and rehab is fast, and the meniscus healing goes well. Right leg?

    In the mid-90’s, I had an injury in my left knee from skiing. I was 21. It bugged me, flared up occasionally, but was not a chronic issue. Went to a top surgeon who worked on the SD Chargers, had MRI, dx’ed as meniscus tear, had surgery for trimming, and the surgeon found the meniscus fully intact but a torn up plica. He trimmed the plica, and I was out of rehab in about month (I was in top shape/condition). I had a VHS tape of the surgery. Surgeon was surprised about the plica and lack of meniscus damage based on his exam and the MRI. Goes to show….

    Any of you middle-aged folks wear a high stability brace prophylactically? One of the docs that I saw told me that my good knee is very likely not 100%. I’m planning to get non-custom high stability brace for that knee for skiing as prophylactic protection.

    Update for my bad knee: I’ve been skiing pretty hard all season with a donjoy custom brace and doing my best to maintain/focus on the strengthening recommended by my PT and on leg blasters, which means less fun activities on off days (like long sunset trail rides) because of available time with other factors of life. My knee still bugs me, but I’m still patiently building more strength and dealing. I have not had a destabilizing episode in 11 months, but I’m also taking care in some of my daily movements.

    Many of my ski days are 6+ hrs on skis and making turns (volunteer job). I’ve been staying away from cliff drops or jumps, but have had no issues with jump turns or poppy-style mogul skiing. Even after many days, I’m still gaining confidence that my brace will keep the knee stabilized. Tele turns definitely feel less stress on the joint than alpine turns: the motion and physics of unweighting and transition between turns is less stress on the knee when telemarking. Crashing, standing up, and feeling fine because of the brace is still a weird sensation.
    Last edited by bodywhomper; 03-19-2024 at 01:56 PM.

  11. #386
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    Apr 2006
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    SF & the Ho
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    Good reports from both of you!

  12. #387
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    33
    Unfortunately I have joined the 2024 ACL class. Damage happened three weeks ago at Kirkwood. Initially thought it was just a MCL tear, however after the MRI it turns out I have a completely torn ACL, a grade 3 MCL and a grade 2 PCL tear and a small fracture in the tibia. Doc didn’t see any damage to the meniscus so that’s a small amount of good news. He thinks the MCL and PCL can self heal. He did his poking and prodding of the knee and leg and said that my knee is still pretty tight. Currently I’m non weight bearing with a brace for the next 3 weeks. Then we can talk about the ACL.

    I’ve read through most of this thread but anybody have advice on helping the MCL/PCL heal. Supplements, diet, anything else I might be missing?
    TIA


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  13. #388
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    Apr 2006
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    What were your symptoms that made you think MCL? Is the knee unstable? And why non weight bearing?

  14. #389
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Moose, Iowa
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    Copying and pasting this for Ima Gaper crosspost from Midwest thread. Has more details.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ima gapper View Post
    Thanks for the vibes. Surgeon seam like the type to not want to do surgery unless necessary. He said that the location of the mcl tear is high on the knee. This is the best case scenario has a high rate of healing without surgery. He said the same for the pcl. I can put weight on it but I have not tried to take a step. If I’m standing in one place I can put about a third of my weight on it to balance in place. I could not do this two weeks ago. The first doc I saw before the MRI had me taking the brace of when not moving around (trying to get the swelling down for the mri). And let me do touch down when standing still. Doc yesterday(surgeon) has me no weight bearing and braced 24/7 for the next three weeks. He’s trying to get the mcl and pcl to heal on their own. I have no real pain currently.

    I’m not looking forward to the PT and strength training. my muscle atrophy in that leg is already insane. Currently my thigh is smaller than my knee. Im not sure I’ll be ready to ski by next year and I’m not going to push it. But I did buy an Indy pass just in case I can make it happen



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    Wow.

    Totally above my pay grade. When the surgeon is telling you no weight bearing that is damned serious.

    I wouldn't hesitate to get a second opinion either. This doesn't sound like a standard acl tear. I went to a local guy for mine, but it was literally as straightforward as you can get.

    I know the U of Iowa is doing some newer acl grafting techniques that are working out well for instance. One of our local racers gals just had a graft I'd never heard of from them.

    Hopefully you'll get some more feedback in the acl thread.

    Also, https://14erskiers.com/blog/2017/03/...-knee-surgery/

    Brittany is own of our own and has some great advice.

  15. #390
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    33
    Mcski
    On the initial assessment at the Kirkwood clinic the doctor did some range of motion stuff he thought the knee felt good in the front to back stability but there was a lot of movement/instability laterally. That was the initial prognosis of what he “would guess is a partial or full tear of the MCL”.

    When I saw the ortho surgeon yesterday he is wanting to protect the knee from any accidental reinjury of the mcl/pcl. He said it takes about 6 weeks for the mcl/pcl to heal. I believe that is why non weight bearing for another 3 weeks

    Ugly$ I’ll give that blog a read


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  16. #391
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    Aug 2022
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    119
    Sadly, I now need to read this thread. Surgery scheduled for April 25th.

  17. #392
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Iron Horse View Post
    Sadly, I now need to read this thread. Surgery scheduled for April 25th.
    That sucks man. Hope all goes well with the surgery and rehab.

  18. #393
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    Jan 2008
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    you see a tie dye disc in there?
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Iron Horse View Post
    Sadly, I now need to read this thread. Surgery scheduled for April 25th.
    Shit, vibes man.

    does get better

  19. #394
    Join Date
    Aug 2022
    Posts
    119
    I've learned more in the past 10 hours about ACL surgery than I ever wanted to know.

    Today was a shock. Last year I damaged the meniscus of my left knee and had surgery to clean it up, along with removing what little was left of the cartilage in that knee. Most of it was just floating around getting in the way. After 12 months, I finally felt like it was close to good... sore as hell, but tolerable. Been skiing my ass off all season, getting stronger and stronger. Now, however, the right knee decided to give me the big middle finger.

    Partially torn ACL, meniscus, lots of cartilage damage. Absolutely crushed to find out, but I knew it was different than the left. Doc seems stoked to go in and get it done. Also talking about possibly performing some "microfracture drilling." I haven't read up on it yet, but I get the idea. Said he'd make a game-time decision once he goes in.

    He's trying to buy me time until I need a full replacement in both. Hoping to put that off for another ten years, until I at least reach 62.

  20. #395
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    Aug 2006
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    Sry ^^^. That sounds pretty rough. I’m hoping that the tech and techniques for TKR continues to advance in the next few decades.

    Honest question for y’all: how are you affording your surgeries? Great, low deductible/premium insurance, spot insurance, rainy day fund, general debt, etc? I’d like to think that $$ hasn’t exactly influenced my decision to not operate, but it’s be a chunk of $$ and we’d likely go into some sort of payment plan. With insurance offered by my work (high deductible plan) premium and deductible, we’d be $14k out of pocket (if everything was in network) before accounting for the pharmaceuticals.

  21. #396
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    Mar 2008
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    northern BC
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    Quote Originally Posted by bodywhomper View Post
    Sry ^^^. That sounds pretty rough. I’m hoping that the tech and techniques for TKR continues to advance in the next few decades.

    Honest question for y’all: how are you affording your surgeries? Great, low deductible/premium insurance, spot insurance, rainy day fund, general debt, etc? I’d like to think that $$ hasn’t exactly influenced my decision to not operate, but it’s be a chunk of $$ and we’d likely go into some sort of payment plan. With insurance offered by my work (high deductible plan) premium and deductible, we’d be $14k out of pocket (if everything was in network) before accounting for the pharmaceuticals.
    Canada eh, so its covered for everyone by the medical plan but you have to wait for it, mine was 8.5 months during covid lockdown
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  22. #397
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    May 2006
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    Eagle County
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Iron Horse View Post
    I've learned more in the past 10 hours about ACL surgery than I ever wanted to know.

    Today was a shock. Last year I damaged the meniscus of my left knee and had surgery to clean it up, along with removing what little was left of the cartilage in that knee. Most of it was just floating around getting in the way. After 12 months, I finally felt like it was close to good... sore as hell, but tolerable. Been skiing my ass off all season, getting stronger and stronger. Now, however, the right knee decided to give me the big middle finger.

    Partially torn ACL, meniscus, lots of cartilage damage. Absolutely crushed to find out, but I knew it was different than the left. Doc seems stoked to go in and get it done. Also talking about possibly performing some "microfracture drilling." I haven't read up on it yet, but I get the idea. Said he'd make a game-time decision once he goes in.

    He's trying to buy me time until I need a full replacement in both. Hoping to put that off for another ten years, until I at least reach 62.
    Wife had microfracture surgery with a meniscus repair, it helped.

    Good luck!


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  23. #398
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    Aug 2022
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    119
    Quote Originally Posted by bodywhomper View Post
    Honest question for y’all: how are you affording your surgeries? Great, low deductible/premium insurance, spot insurance, rainy day fund, general debt, etc? I’d like to think that $$ hasn’t exactly influenced my decision to not operate, but it’s be a chunk of $$ and we’d likely go into some sort of payment plan. With insurance offered by my work (high deductible plan) premium and deductible, we’d be $14k out of pocket (if everything was in network) before accounting for the pharmaceuticals.
    Fortunately insurance is not something we have think about. My wife and I were both in the Marine Corps, and she toughed it out for 21 years. The Corps destroys your body, but Hey!, if you survive until retirement you get great health insurance for practically pennies!

    Quote Originally Posted by montanaskier View Post
    Wife had microfracture surgery with a meniscus repair, it helped.

    Good luck!
    Thanks. The microfracture surgery seems to make sense, glad to hear it helped her. My doc said he has had good success with it. Downside is I think it slows recovery down, as he said I'd be non-weight bearing for 5 or 6 weeks.

  24. #399
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    Dec 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by bodywhomper View Post
    Sry ^^^. That sounds pretty rough. I’m hoping that the tech and techniques for TKR continues to advance in the next few decades.

    Honest question for y’all: how are you affording your surgeries? Great, low deductible/premium insurance, spot insurance, rainy day fund, general debt, etc? I’d like to think that $$ hasn’t exactly influenced my decision to not operate, but it’s be a chunk of $$ and we’d likely go into some sort of payment plan. With insurance offered by my work (high deductible plan) premium and deductible, we’d be $14k out of pocket (if everything was in network) before accounting for the pharmaceuticals.
    In my case I had high deductible insurance and had to pay about $6,500 out of pocket. Above that amount everything was covered (no co-insurance). Yeah it sucked to write that check. But if you have a Health Savings Account you can actually pay for stuff like that tax-free, which helps ease the sting a little bit.

  25. #400
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    Dec 2007
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    monument
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    /\/\/\

    Yup, my three have all run me about 6k (max out of pocket).
    The total billed was roughly 25k-30k.

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