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The Big Break

Kathy Bennett

Certified Ski Diva
Well, after 30 years of skiing it finally happened. I had a skiing accident and badly broke my tibia plateau of my left leg. Now recovering from surgery and have a fine assortment of hardware piecing it all together again. Now facing 12 weeks of non-weight bearing.

I miss skiing. I miss moving. I miss being outside. I'm afraid I'll be afraid to ski again next winter, even though my surgeon says this type of break heals well and I should be able to rehab once I get back to weight bearing (on May 7, not that I'm counting days). I loved skiing trees, bumps and the ungroomed stuff and I don't know if I'll ever get back to that due to the fear (I was taken down on an ungroomed black run).

Has anyone else had a bad break and bounced back, so to speak? Anyone else had this particular type of fracture?
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I am so sorry to hear this. I had a non-surgical tibial plateau fracture in 2015. You’ll come back— just be patient with yourself! Do your rehab with full commitment. Ride bikes this summer! Do little things that bring you joy.

I have a friend who sustained a hideous TPF along with other injuries few years ago. There are support groups on FB and other places that are worth seeking out.
 

Jenny

Angel Diva
Sorry you’re injured - 12 weeks NWB is a lot!

No experience with this specific injury, sorry. My ankle was all soft tissue; six weeks NWB.
 

Knitjenious

Angel Diva
Oh no @Kathy Bennett !

I broke my tibia and fibula 11 years ago falling down some stairs. Sending you love and patience with yourself. In those earliest days, it was very important to stay on top of the pain, even if it meant waking up to take meds on schedule. And then it's a whole new phase when you can walk again and you LOOK better but really aren't all the way there yet. Looking back, I remember being surprised by just how long I kept getting better. It took me 2 years to be able to wear dress heels again, but now it's no problem. And I started skiing for the first time AFTER the break, so I have lots of hope that you will regain much of your former skill and joy of skiing!

2nding the suggestion to seek out some of the online groups/message boards related to broken leg recovery. They were a great place to get support and vent to people who understood what I was going through.

If you are on crutches, silicone pads for the tops help a lot with comfort. And a little bag that attaches to the crutch for carrying your phone, a snack bar, etc.

Wishing you a smooth recovery.
 

skibum4ever

Angel Diva
Sorry to hear this @Kathy Bennett . I broke my tibia fibula femur and destroyed my artificial knee in December 2021. It took me 16 long months to return to skiing. This was by far my biggest injury. I took a private lesson on my first day back to ease me back onto the slopes. I think it helped me conquer my fear.

However, I broke my tibia 20 years ago in March, and skied with no fear the following December. Friends said that they couldn't even tell which leg had been injured.

As others have said, stay ahead of the pain. When you start walking and doing PT, do but don't overdo. You can set yourself back by doing too much. However if you can stay motivated (and it sure sounds like you will!) you've got this!

And feel free to RANT or ask for advice on this forum. A lot of us have come back strong from major injury.
 

Amie H

Angel Diva
Sorry about your injury. That sounds painful.

I had a severe neck injury while skiing in January 2019 but I didn't address it until later in the year when the pain, numbness, and loss of use of my right arm became unbearable. Ended up with 2 cervical disc replacements in December 2019. Late February 2020 (w permission from neurosurgeon) I was skiing 3 days in Tahoe!

The issue there was severe foot pain which led to foot surgery later that year to shave down my plantar fascia which was full of scar tissue and unable to flex. It took a long time before I could walk on it, longer still before I could exercise.

That 2/2020 trip, I wasn't as fearful as I was the following year(as you know everything shut down March 2020.) I had a lot of trepidation doing anything outside of green runs or easy blues. Maybe that loss of fitness was part of my loss of confidence to the frustrating foot problem.

Fast forward to this season: no fear, no problems, skiing well and feeling good. I have been working out 5-6 mornings a week before work at a local poolfor the past 2 years. I work out almost exclusively in deep water which helped gain core strength while not impacting my foot.

So, look forward to PT, exercising, and getting strong and well for next season. Plan to give yourself permission to do easy and/ or familiar terrain at first if you are more comfortable with that.

Hopefully you will regain both the strength & confidence to enjoy the snow as you have in the past.
 

Kathy Bennett

Certified Ski Diva
Sorry to hear this @Kathy Bennett . I broke my tibia fibula femur and destroyed my artificial knee in December 2021. It took me 16 long months to return to skiing. This was by far my biggest injury. I took a private lesson on my first day back to ease me back onto the slopes. I think it helped me conquer my fear.

However, I broke my tibia 20 years ago in March, and skied with no fear the following December. Friends said that they couldn't even tell which leg had been injured.

As others have said, stay ahead of the pain. When you start walking and doing PT, do but don't overdo. You can set yourself back by doing too much. However if you can stay motivated (and it sure sounds like you will!) you've got this!

And feel free to RANT or ask for advice on this forum. A lot of us have come back strong from major injury.
Wow - that sounds like quite the injury! I like your suggestion for taking a private lesson when getting back on skis.

I'm almost two weeks post surgery at this point and I am **almost** out of the woods with the daily on-going pain. Fortunately my patella/knee cap wasn't involved nor was the meniscus which is typically injured with this type of break. So I've got that going for me.
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
@Kathy Bennett , my heart goes out to you. Pain is awful, not being able to do anything is awful, too. I was hoping you’d be able to join us at Diva East this year, so I’m selfishly disappointed. Rest, heal, do your therapy. You’ll get there. Wishing you a fast and complete recovery.
 

Kathy Bennett

Certified Ski Diva
@Kathy Bennett , my heart goes out to you. Pain is awful, not being able to do anything is awful, too. I was hoping you’d be able to join us at Diva East this year, so I’m selfishly disappointed. Rest, heal, do your therapy. You’ll get there. Wishing you a fast and complete recovery.
I never realized how much of my life is consumed by skiing! For work, for personal, for entertainment, friends, etc. It's bad enough being injured but also to lose the activity so dear to me!
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
I’m so sorry to hear about your accident @Kathy Bennett ! I know a lot of people for some reason who have had this sort of injury, and they have all gotten back on skis. You will get there, and even if you start out taking it easy with some fear at first (which is totally reasonable and understandable!!) I bet you will be back on your terrain of choice when you are ready! Be kind to yourself and work up to the scary places, if there are any, when you get back on skis. You’ve got this!
 

ChollaKicker

Diva in Training
Well, after 30 years of skiing it finally happened. I had a skiing accident and badly broke my tibia plateau of my left leg. Now recovering from surgery and have a fine assortment of hardware piecing it all together again. Now facing 12 weeks of non-weight bearing.

I miss skiing. I miss moving. I miss being outside. I'm afraid I'll be afraid to ski again next winter, even though my surgeon says this type of break heals well and I should be able to rehab once I get back to weight bearing (on May 7, not that I'm counting days). I loved skiing trees, bumps and the ungroomed stuff and I don't know if I'll ever get back to that due to the fear (I was taken down on an ungroomed black run).

Has anyone else had a bad break and bounced back, so to speak? Anyone else had this particular type of fracture?
Yup..I did that same thing..March 10th,2002, on a Mt.Rose, Nev.,blue slope I'd skied many times prior as a warm up run...after a very windy day/night before, hit an ice patch & down I went,left binding didn't release...leg broke in 3 places...pain like I never ever had before.
Couldn't wait to get back on the hill again. It did take 2 years. But, amazingly, my left leg, titanium rod & all, seemed much stronger than my right.
Love to ski..always will. But I'd be lying if I am not a bit more careful these days.
You'll be back at it, just do your rehab & power up...Wishing you many fine days on the hill in the future. Hugs.
 

Pakaski

Diva in Training
Well, after 30 years of skiing it finally happened. I had a skiing accident and badly broke my tibia plateau of my left leg. Now recovering from surgery and have a fine assortment of hardware piecing it all together again. Now facing 12 weeks of non-weight bearing.

I miss skiing. I miss moving. I miss being outside. I'm afraid I'll be afraid to ski again next winter, even though my surgeon says this type of break heals well and I should be able to rehab once I get back to weight bearing (on May 7, not that I'm counting days). I loved skiing trees, bumps and the ungroomed stuff and I don't know if I'll ever get back to that due to the fear (I was taken down on an ungroomed black run).

Has anyone else had a bad break and bounced back, so to speak? Anyone else had this particular type of fracture?
@Kathy Bennett that’s a hard injury, like several others here I had the same TPF type break + torn ligament in early 2020.
The hardest for me with NWB was getting through that period, then maintaining rehab consistency after, then just getting back into shape was the longest struggle for me personally. I also had phantom pains and sometimes swelling for a couple years afterwards - but for me that only happened in periods where I couldn’t pull myself out of my rut to get fit again.
As CoVid lockdown hit shortly after my injury it wasn’t easy to bounce back and it took me 3yrs to finally get to the same level of fitness I had in 2020.
Then hitting the slopes with my family for the first time last season I was consumed with Fear of Other People, Fear of Ice, Fear of Falling,

My family is all about skiing.
My daughters and husband are par excellence skiers (as I used to be) and at same time were very considerate of me when skiing together last season, but I kept finding excuses not to go with them, or got injured in parallel sport I took up last season (cross-country skiing - broke my tailbone last March and fell on my face from flying out of a broken track on a small baby hill.)
Finally over a week early February this year I took private lessons consequently for 7 days.
I’ve regained my confidence and FoF etc seems under control.
I highly recommend taking private lessons when you go back to the piste. If it’s not affordable, then to practice the basics again without poles for several hours/days so that you don’t develop bad habits that come with self-protection and Fear mechanisms.
I wish you a rapid recovery, to bounce back avoiding the self-fulfilling ruts, and to keep positive!
 

BlueSkies

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@Kathy Bennett : so sorry to hear. I was looking forward to seeing you at Jay.
I broke my tibia and fibula (Dr. called it shattered) many years ago. Took some time to be comfortable on skis again and lessons helped. Eventually skied better than before (now I am just old and taking it easy)
 

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Uh Oh !! Did mine at the end of our 2022 season, non surgical but also broke the ankle on my other leg and a bunch of torn meniscus etc.
There is light at the end of the tunnel but be prepared for a bumpy ride both physically and mentally. I was back skiing 9 months later (probably shouldnt have been but I did), I posted a whole bunch of stuff on here if you feel like searching it out.
Biggest tip I have is rehab, rehab and rehab some more, as others have said there are FB groups you can join and quite a few members are skiers so its nice to relate.
As I said its a bumpy ride and recovery dosent go in a straight line, you'll recover then plateau then take a few steps backwards, its all over the show but try and keep a positive mindset and you'll get through this.
If you want to DM me at any time I'm happy to help in anyway I can or even if you just want to rant xx
 

Eera

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I had a compound tib /fib in my right ankle a few years ago: my surgeon said that he associated that sort of injury with high speeds impacts like skiing, but ironically I did it dismounting a still horse in a flat paddock.

Luckily there was zero damage to the cartilage, which is surprising as my foot was sideways with splintered bone all over the place and ten years later I don't have any issues with it apart from maybe a bit of instability and I'm very cautious on uneven terrain.

I don't know whether your hardware is as prominent as mine was: you could see the heads of the screws through my skin and they were painful when in boots and in cold weather I'd get this weird sensation like water trickling down my leg. I should have made an appointment to get them taken out as soon as possible but didn't, then it was another two years before I could get that appointment, so maybe that's something to consider down the track?
 

Kathy Bennett

Certified Ski Diva
@Kathy Bennett that’s a hard injury, like several others here I had the same TPF type break + torn ligament in early 2020.
The hardest for me with NWB was getting through that period, then maintaining rehab consistency after, then just getting back into shape was the longest struggle for me personally. I also had phantom pains and sometimes swelling for a couple years afterwards - but for me that only happened in periods where I couldn’t pull myself out of my rut to get fit again.
As CoVid lockdown hit shortly after my injury it wasn’t easy to bounce back and it took me 3yrs to finally get to the same level of fitness I had in 2020.
Then hitting the slopes with my family for the first time last season I was consumed with Fear of Other People, Fear of Ice, Fear of Falling,

My family is all about skiing.
My daughters and husband are par excellence skiers (as I used to be) and at same time were very considerate of me when skiing together last season, but I kept finding excuses not to go with them, or got injured in parallel sport I took up last season (cross-country skiing - broke my tailbone last March and fell on my face from flying out of a broken track on a small baby hill.)
Finally over a week early February this year I took private lessons consequently for 7 days.
I’ve regained my confidence and FoF etc seems under control.
I highly recommend taking private lessons when you go back to the piste. If it’s not affordable, then to practice the basics again without poles for several hours/days so that you don’t develop bad habits that come with self-protection and Fear mechanisms.
I wish you a rapid recovery, to bounce back avoiding the self-fulfilling ruts, and to keep positive!
love the suggestion for private lessons - it would be a gift to myself to get back at the sport I love so much despite this horrific injury
 

Kathy Bennett

Certified Ski Diva
I had a compound tib /fib in my right ankle a few years ago: my surgeon said that he associated that sort of injury with high speeds impacts like skiing, but ironically I did it dismounting a still horse in a flat paddock.

Luckily there was zero damage to the cartilage, which is surprising as my foot was sideways with splintered bone all over the place and ten years later I don't have any issues with it apart from maybe a bit of instability and I'm very cautious on uneven terrain.

I don't know whether your hardware is as prominent as mine was: you could see the heads of the screws through my skin and they were painful when in boots and in cold weather I'd get this weird sensation like water trickling down my leg. I should have made an appointment to get them taken out as soon as possible but didn't, then it was another two years before I could get that appointment, so maybe that's something to consider down the track?
Doc says hardware should stay in place unless there's good reason to remove it later. I haven't seen my leg since the surgery so no clue where/how hardware will show itself - hopefully not at all! I get the bandages off tomorrow. Can't wait to see it (not!).

I was lucky that my meniscus wasn't damaged as it often is with this type of break, and no other tendon/ligament involvement. So I have that going for me.
 

Kathy Bennett

Certified Ski Diva
Uh Oh !! Did mine at the end of our 2022 season, non surgical but also broke the ankle on my other leg and a bunch of torn meniscus etc.
There is light at the end of the tunnel but be prepared for a bumpy ride both physically and mentally. I was back skiing 9 months later (probably shouldnt have been but I did), I posted a whole bunch of stuff on here if you feel like searching it out.
Biggest tip I have is rehab, rehab and rehab some more, as others have said there are FB groups you can join and quite a few members are skiers so its nice to relate.
As I said its a bumpy ride and recovery dosent go in a straight line, you'll recover then plateau then take a few steps backwards, its all over the show but try and keep a positive mindset and you'll get through this.
If you want to DM me at any time I'm happy to help in anyway I can or even if you just want to rant xx
Thanks. My shorter term goal is to get out on our sailboat this summer starting in June. I start weight bearing May 7. It's good to have goals.
 

mustski

Angel Diva
I think there is a nervousness with any injury. Evan after we recover, it takes a while to feel strong again. Lessons help, so does allowing yourself grace and skiing easy terrain, and short days, until you build confidence. I have a mild thumb sprain, but it hurts. I've been skiing with the brace, but I continue to worry about falling on it. This is the second time that I have injured that thumb so I'm nervous about it now. LOL. I lost my balance on a bump run a few weeks ago and probably caused my own fall by throwing my hand high above my head to protect it! The point is - just take care of yourself and skiing will take care of itself when the time comes.
 

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