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Skiing again after fractured Tibial Plateau


Diva in Training
I thought I would write my first post related to my fractured tibial plateau..... hopefully it may help and support others who have been through this injury.
My ski edge caught an icy bank on a narrow 'blue' path on the last day of our holiday (Friday 13th April) in Meribel, France. My ski flipped over and my left knee twisted violently. My ski was not released from my binding but I wan't in pain - which was odd. I was taken to the medical centre in a blood wagon to be told I had seriously fractured my lateral tibial plateau. I was shocked and upset. Skiing is my passion. I am 59 and thought that my skiing days were now over. This was the first injury in 43 years skiing............I was flown back to the UK for surgery (my choice) as I wanted a knee surgeon with an excellent reputation to do my surgery. I had the op a few days later which involved bone graft from my illiac crest (pelvis) taken to patch up my fractured tibial plateau. I have a metal plate and 9 screws in my knee / tibia. I was determined to get back to walking normally first before considering skiing again. Short, achievable goals over several months is how I have been able to cope with the upset and management of my injury. I attended regular PT sessions and did my exercises several times a day at home. My PT was very pleased with my ROM and muscle strengthening. I am now doing a rehabilitation programme at the local gym to strengthen my lower body - quads, gluts, calves etc. I am doing leg presses, sitting / standing / stepping with weights, cross trainer, spinning bike and treadmill for walking uphill. I also attend aquafit for my hydrotherapy and yoga. My surgeon is delighted with my progress and has given me the 'go ahead' to ski in December. He does not recommend a knee brace for support as he thinks it is better just to build up good muscle strength prior to the trip. I intend to spend the first morning with an instructor in December and build up my confidence slowly. I am feeling anxious and am worried about falling on my injured leg. However, I am gong to be sensible and just to a little each day, starting on green runs and building up to blue etc.
I think there are three important things that determine how successfully you can ski again after this injury and these are: having a good surgeon, doing your PT and exercises to build up your ROM and fitness and having a positive and optimistic outlook on skiing again! Thank you for reading I will let you know how I get on in December.

ski diva

Staff member
So sorry to hear about your accident, but it really seems like getting good care and doing lots of rehab work are paying off. Kudos to you for sticking with it and not letting it keep you down. Let us know how it goes when you get on the hill. I wish you all the best.
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Ski Diva Extraordinaire
You've got this! Your attitude will help so much. I'm sure you will feel some frustration as the leg will NOT work as it once did, particularly this first season, but keep working on getting it stronger, have patience, and go enjoy the feeling of sliding on the snow again!!
(I fractured my tibial plateau in early 2015, although not nearly as badly as you did. I did find out last winter that I had also torn my LCL, which has continued to cause issues. But, ces' la vie! I'm aware of it and keep on skiing!)


Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Best of luck @Linzijane18. With the rehab work you’ve done and your positive attitude, you’re all set for a return to skiing. Great plan to ski with an instructor on your first day. I fractured my tibial plateau in 2010 and skiing with a sympathetic instructor on my first day back really helped me rebuild my confidence. Go easy on yourself this season. You might not ski like you used to at first but try not to worry and just concentrate on having fun. It will all come good in time.


Diva in Training
Thank you so much for all your encouraging and wise words. It is comforting to have a forum like this to share experiences and injury stories. I will update this again after my first day back on the piste!


Certified Ski Diva
I also broke my tibial plateau into a few pieces in 2014 while skiing and had to have it screwed back together. I went back to skiing the following year. After the surgeries and the amount of time it took to get back to normal I can totally understand the anxiety of getting back into it and never wanting to experience that sort of injury again. For me, getting back into skiing fully was as much a mental barrier as much as a physical one. Despite my determination to get back into it, it took a little while to rebuild my confidence and get over the fear.

The advice I would give is take it slow and easy. Be kind to yourself. Don’t let others rush you. Don’t expect to be back to where you were immediately, for me it took a couple of years. I found private lessons really helped. I explained my situation to an instructor and they really helped me improve my technique so that I felt controlled and confident in any terrain.

Good luck with it!


Diva in Training
Dear Ski Divas
I just wanted to let you know that since fracturing my tibial plateau (plate and 9 screws plus bone grafting) I have skied three times since my accident exactly a year ago. I first went 8 months post op and took it slowly and gently - I was anxious about falling again (especially on my damaged knee) but I went with friends, took my time and built up from an hour a day to three in the first week.
I went skiing again 6 weeks later and did more challenging runs, again for about 1-3 hours a day. If my knee started aching, I stopped and rested my knee. I have just returned from another week in the French Alps and skied for 4-5 hours a day. My knee didn't hurt and I am starting to gain more confidence as I am almost back to skiing at the level I was prior to my accident.
I hope my post will give hope to those worried about skiing again after this injury. I am celebrating my 60th birthday on Friday and the best present I could ever have is to be able to ski again.
My advice to anyone who has the misfortune to have this injury / surgery is to make sure you have a knee specialist consultant to do the operation, take your physiotherapy very seriously and do your exercises properly, even if it can hurt and get boring. It will be worth it long-term. I am convinced that due to having an excellent surgeon and commitment to my physio has enabled me to ski again and not suffer any pain a year on from the accident.


Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@Linzijane18 that’s fantasic! Glad to hear you are making such a great recovery. Totally agree on the physiotherapy. Mine hurt more than the original injury but it really pays off. :ski2:

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