beeb asked in SportsWinter SportsSnow Skiing · 10 years ago

I tore my ACL skiing 7 years ago, and even though it's repaired and I wear a brace, I'm still scared...?

I really enjoy skiing and want a little bit of a challenge. I've never been a black diamond skiier, nor do I really want to be after my injury. I used to enjoy skiing blues because they were challenging enough to keep me entertained but not stressful. Since I got hurt I've been too nervous to ski anything but greens! I am worried I'm going to bust my other knee or something.... can I get over this? I'd really like to resume skiing the way I used to.

6 Answers

  • Steve
    Lv 6
    10 years ago
    Best Answer

    Actual experience with this: I tore my ACL completely (and did some other damage to MCL and meniscus) about ten years ago. Injured in late June (playing basketball), surgery in early August (an allograft), and skiing by the following February. I have not worn the brace either for skiing or basketball in at least five years.

    The key was to talk to my surgeon and let him know my goals and expectations. I said that working hard and sticking precisely (not more, not less - this is important) to a PT program would not be an issue. He geared the surgery and rehab program around this.

    In your case, you are seven years past the surgery, so you won't have the opportunity to build from the beginning. But you can and should talk to a physical therapist to get an assessment done on your knee. Chances are, it is as good as new by now - normally the healing is pretty well complete after two years.

    You can probably even get a referral from your primary doctor for this so your insurance covers it.

    Fear not! You are taking a path that others have taken before you without difficulty.

  • Mary
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    I tore my ACL back in 8th grade and had surgery on it. I'm not sure if you had surgery on it but if you didn't, then I wouldn't recommend it because you can end up tearing more ligaments in your knee and it'll just be bad news. Now if you did have surgery, then I say go for it 100%. I am back on the mountain and absolutely love it. Stretch before you go and wear the brace even if you don't think you need it. It'll make you not think about your knee and it will help. It took me 4 years to not wear the brace when I ski and I survived with 0 injuries. Have fun, ski season has begun! I ski by the way but to be honest, I would think snowboarding would be the answer because when you ski, the weight of the skis can twist easily if you fall and tear your knee again. But then again, the brace I have doesn't make that happen

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Assuming that you have gone through physical therapy and your doctor has given you the green light to return to skiing, there is nothing physically holding you back. The mental side of a major accident and surgery can often be harder to recover from than the physical. For most competitive skiers, it takes them several months or years to get their head back in the same place that it was in before they had to have surgery.

    The only way that you'll ever get over your fear is by getting back on the slopes and skiing. Over time, you'll get the confidence back that you are lacking now. Just start slow, take it easy on the more moderate runs, and work your way up. And like another poster said, you should strongly consider taking some lessons - making sure that your form is good after so much time off will help ensure that you won't hurt yourself again.

  • 10 years ago

    You should consider taking a lesson. Even if it's not a matter of improving your skill set (which it also is) to tackle the challenge, the additional pressure of someone watching and rooting for you will help you to step up. If that's not enough pressure the cost of the lesson will surely provide the extra incentive ;).

    More importantly though, do it when the conditions are good. With a knee injury or weak knee consider soft and well groomed conditions. You will also most likely feel more comfortable mid week or low season when the crowds are minimal.

    Typically you can have the best chance of these conditions at a mid or northern Rockies resort in mid January to early February. Everything will be smoothest and least crowded early in the morning.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Chris
    Lv 4
    10 years ago

    This situation is one I am all too familiar with.

    I was in the same boat not too many years ago.

    I tore my ACL almost ten years ago. Had it repaired then went to phys. therapy. Got back on the slopes and was doing okay...

    Then early the next ski season... wham! Took a fall (not on the slopes) and messed it up again. Thought I just screwed up what was fixed. Turned out to be a meniscus tear. More surgery and PT again. This time I didn't return to my board w/o pain and swelling - even months after.

    At my doctor's request he suggest I try something else since my knee wasn't cooperating. I then found that Brenter Snowbikes® were available at my local ski area and they even teach you how to ride them.

    The rest is history. Seven years later and I still ride them exclusively with absolutely no knee problems. They are so much fun and I even take them on some of the really difficult terrain without any trouble (I just take it slower). There is very little weight on my knees so I don't have to think about the pain I used to have with skis or on my board. I have fun showing off in the superpipe on occasion. These Brenter Snowbikes® are as fun on the easy slopes as they are on the more difficult terrain. So just like on skis you get to seek your own ability level.

    Please, please if you are unable to ski or snowboard w/o pain or discomfort, IM me or check out Brenter's website BEFORE you just give up on snowsports. There are so many people out there that don't know that there's something that is just as much fun or more that would work for them. These bikes are tons easier to learn and control than skis and boards. Muscles don't get sore and knees don't ache.

    I couldn't be happier since I don't have to give up my passion for the ski slopes!

    About the brace issue... in my particular situation, my doc told me that my body would learn to depend on the brace if I were to use one. He recommended against it. But be SURE to ask for your doc's best advice on the brace thing though.

  • 10 years ago

    stick to the blue slopes until you get your confidence back. very few people don't get injured while skiing, whether it's a few bruises, a broken bone or anything more serious. skiing is a dangerous sport, that's a fact! as long as you are aware of what you have to do to stay safe (boots are tight, don't do anything you aren't ready for, etc) then you'll build up your confidence again. check with your doctor too, it can't hurt.


Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.