CUSHKOMASo for the most part I've completed rehab from knee surgery I had at the beginning of the summer (longest 6 months of my life). This past Monday I was cleared by my doctor to lightly return to all normal activities, including skiing. Although I worked like an animal throughout the course of my physical therapy to get where I am now, I realize that I'm not back to 100% yet. The new graft still needs to mature and I'm still working toward getting my balance and stability back. I plan on giving myself a few more weeks to get stronger and in better ski shape, I've been meeting with a trainer at my gym to help me get there. I have my knee brace on deck and ready to go for my first day back, which will probably consist of some light cruising. Anyone else who's been through the same have any advice for someone who is just getting back in the game? I'll take all the help I can get!!!
Start slow and be careful. I had my surgery in March of 04, and I really did not ski much in 04/05. My situation was different, I was going from living in the mountains as a ski bum to a graduate student, so my first year out I just concentrated on school and only skied 8 or 10 days. I'm glad it worked out that way, as it gave me plenty of time to heal and train. My second season I skied about 30 days, which is a typical season for me now, and I did not have any problems.
I know you won't want to hear this but you really have to start slow. I killed myself in rehab too, but I still had to accept that I was not full strength my first year back. I was lucky to be in a situation where I could take a year without much skiing and not be too upset. If I had stayed in the mountains and kept being a ski bum it would have been much harder that first year after surgery.
Listen to your doctors and therapists. Don't try to accelerate their schedule. If you follow protocol and don't get unlucky you can make a full recovery and come back as strong as you were before. I am more than 10 years out on my surgery and I have not had any problems. I still wear my brace, as it could prevent a hyper-extension and it makes sense to keep wearing it. I can't ski the way I could before the surgery but that is because I went from skiing 120 days a year for four seasons in a row to 30-40 days a year. Had I stayed in the mountains I would have been able to ski just as well after surgery as before.
You have come a very long way. Just be careful. You don't want to push too hard now and lose everything you have gained by doing something stupid. Just keep doing what the docs and physios tell you and you will return to full strength in time. Good luck.