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Post ACL Skiing, technique and Ski equipment
What up NS. Haven't made a post on here in quite a while. I'm a dedicated ass park rat turned beginner outdoorsy backcountry/AT skier want-to-be. I tore my ACL over spring break last year in Mt. Tremblant on a lame ass 5 with a missed grab. Broke my heart but I am dead ass about getting back to where I was pre-injury, or at least shifting my style of skiing to be as passionate and at the same activity level within another sub-discipline. This knee isn't going to kill my love... I really really like skiing.
For a lil context I had surgery April 18, so 8 months (early end for getting cleared) is December 18 which is about the time skiing starts up here in North Carolina.
I know a lot of this discussion has been beaten to shit. There are actually hundreds of threads on it... So I'm basically just wondering what equipment should I cop to help my knee stay safe this season, what type of skiing should I do/not do this season, are trampolines a bad idea, and what activities outside of working out are helpful. I know the best thing I Can do right now is PT, but I'd love the discussion and to know others have had this experience and found specific useful things about this time in the process.
I am an exercise science grad and a future DPT student. I've gone through your situation with my shoulder (torn glenoid labrum) and my BIGGEST regret is not hitting PT hard af even when the docs say you don't need anymore PT.
You can get your stability back but overall your range of motion is going to suck. If i could go back I would have done PT for another 3-4 months and then hired a (knowledgeable) trainer and got in the gym for at least 6 months just focusing on my shoulder, back, and such.
Your biomechanics will be totally off from before, meaning you'll be stressing other parts of your legs you may never have stressed before. I'd say the gym will be the most important part, mainly focusing on ROM. Get your core and lower back strong along with your quads, hamstrings. You could even strengthen your foot flexors on your shin, which many skiers could use.
I'm speaking from prior experience only because I am not involved in the medical field at all (unlike above post). Just so you know. Best exercises to get into preseason would definitely be PT and whatever he/she is telling you to do. In addition, biking biking biking, squats, accuracy jumps. My biggest point here is to work on each leg equally. Don't put all the work on the healthy leg, but also don't overcompensate and put all the work on the unhealthy (for lack of better term) leg. When not working out, stretch and gain flexibility. Do balance exercises when you are just standing around.
As for equipment. Were you given a knee brace? I was never given one and was told (by my ortho) that they are a bad idea to ski with because it gives you a false sense of safety. Aka giant teddy bear. For my first year post surgery, I skied with KT tape on my patella tendon because I got tendonitis post surgery. After skiing I would stretch, elevate, and ice. Helped me with recovery after days on the mountain.
8 months is a good amount of time, and I'm sure you'll get right back into killin it. Trust yourself and trust your knee.
for technique most people will probably tell you to not ski park anymore...
if you do I'd just take it easy, instead of trying to ride out of near falls just take it and roll over ESPECIALLY if your are back seat
I rehabbed like a madman and did not see much of a difference.
Having said that, my life changed. I went from half a decade in Tahoe skiing 120 days a year to a weekend yuppie skiing 30-40 days a year. I obviously don't ski as well as I used to but that is because I don't ski nearly as much. If I skied as much I would probably be fine. I did not change my technique or anything like that, but I never skied much park, mostly resort steeps. I know lots of people who have come back from ACL surgery and been just as good as they were before.
There might be one other factor for me. My first year post surgery I did not ski much. I was in grad school and did not have a ski lease yet. The next year I got a ski lease and started to ski 3 weekends a month. I think training for a year and a half helped me come back really strong. I don't know if I would have felt as strong my first year back.
PT, from what ive heard from my therapist and surgeon, working out, ROM, and strength buidling, is better than any brace could be. Short story from the endless people ive asked (Drs. and skier) just work your best at getting the knee healthy and strong. And youll be sore for the first few weeks and tired but itll come back. ( im skating 8 months out only some pain on some days) had my ACL MCL and both meniscus torn to bits!
But over all be confident in your knee and the more you train the more comfortable youll feel about doing fun things!
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