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Tibia Fracture

skiluv

Diva in Training
I suffered a left tibia fracture in 2021 with repair ( 2 screws and a pin). I was cleared by the surgeon and skied last winter. Now I was told my ACL is torn in the fractured leg, and surgery is not advised due to my age, 65! I can ski with a brace, although that does not thrill me, but blowing out my knee is less thrilling. Any thoughts? I have been skiing since I was 14, and I know other folks have worse health problems, but-
Thanks
 
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AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Oh no that's a double whammy !

Here's a link to a post that @marzNC put up in the Health, Injury, Rehab section xx

 

marzNC

Angel Diva
I suffered a left tibia fracture in 2021 with repair ( 2 screws and a pin). I was cleared by the surgeon and skied last winter. Now I was told my ACL is torn in the fractured leg, and surgery is not advised due to my age, 65! I can ski with a brace, although that does not thrill me, but blowing out my knee is less thrilling. Any thoughts? I have been skiing since I was 14, and I know other folks have worse health problems, but-
Thanks
Welcome! Although sorry it's because of an injury. That's great that you were skiing last season.

ACL reconstruction surgery is quite possible after age 60. You might want to get a second opinion if that's what you prefer to do. My personal trainer opted for ACLr surgery in her mid-60s. In her case, she knew she could've been a successful coper. However, Workman's Comp covered the surgery 100% as long as she did the surgery within a year. She decided about six months after the injury to schedule surgery. She knew that she'd always been worrying as a coper. She is a retired elementary school teacher who started a second career as a personal trainer in her late 50s. Her passion is swimming, either laps in a pool but preferably in a big lake in Maine.

I started working with her during the last phase of my PT, a few months after deciding to remain ACL-deficient and do everything possible to be a successful coper. So she got first-hand experience following my journey as a coper skiing big mountains. I worked with her in the late spring and early fall for several years.

I've been skiing without an ACL and without a brace since 2013. By then I was retired and my daughter had become a better skier than I was by age 11 a couple years before. I started taking lessons on a semi-regular basis that season, mostly at my home hill where a long run takes 3 min to finish. Not only have I continue to ski in the past ten years, I improved in ways that I hadn't imagine was possible given that I was over 55 and I didn't ski much as a working adult.

The knee is complicated. Every situation is different. Best to consult with medical professionals as you weigh the options.
 

skiluv

Diva in Training
Welcome! Although sorry it's because of an injury. That's great that you were skiing last season.

ACL reconstruction surgery is quite possible after age 60. You might want to get a second opinion if that's what you prefer to do. My personal trainer opted for ACLr surgery in her mid-60s. In her case, she knew she could've been a successful coper. However, Workman's Comp covered the surgery 100% as long as she did the surgery within a year. She decided about six months after the injury to schedule surgery. She knew that she'd always been worrying as a coper. She is a retired elementary school teacher who started a second career as a personal trainer in her late 50s. Her passion is swimming, either laps in a pool but preferably in a big lake in Maine.

I started working with her during the last phase of my PT, a few months after deciding to remain ACL-deficient and do everything possible to be a successful coper. So she got first-hand experience following my journey as a coper skiing big mountains. I worked with her in the late spring and early fall for several years.

I've been skiing without an ACL and without a brace since 2013. By then I was retired and my daughter had become a better skier than I was by age 11 a couple years before. I started taking lessons on a semi-regular basis that season, mostly at my home hill where a long run takes 3 min to finish. Not only have I continue to ski in the past ten years, I improved in ways that I hadn't imagine was possible given that I was over 55 and I didn't ski much as a working adult.

The knee is complicated. Every situation is different. Best to consult with medical professionals as you weigh the options.
The weird thing is I did not know my ACL was shot. I went for a pre-season knee check, as I am OCD about everything. I do have difficulty doing squats on the bosu ball, but I thought I needed to work out more. I am looking for a sports medicine physician who specifically deals with skiinjuries. It is a little tough as I live in Central Pennsylvania not a great ski area. Thank you for the input
 

snoWYmonkey

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Another thought might be to find an orthopedic surgeon that works with pro sports teams like baseball or football athletes. While your doc may be spot on there are certainly some that have age biases and fail to grasp how many decades of skiing someone as young as you have left in their athletic career. Vail used to have an amazing knee clinic. Most big ski resort towns do have great knee specific orthopedic surgeons. Find one that is conservative with surgery maybe as it sounds like you have been doing solid workouts as is.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
The weird thing is I did not know my ACL was shot. I went for a pre-season knee check, as I am OCD about everything. I do have difficulty doing squats on the bosu ball, but I thought I needed to work out more. I am looking for a sports medicine physician who specifically deals with skiinjuries. It is a little tough as I live in Central Pennsylvania not a great ski area. Thank you for the input
Ah, definitely makes a difference that you don't live in big mountain ski country. I made a point to find an orthopedic surgeon who had at least a little experience as a skier. Not that easy in central NC. What's your favorite place to ski in PA?

Before doing an MRI became routine, my sense is that there were plenty of people who were skiing without an ACL and had no idea that was the case. When I researched the topic in 2012, I found stories about copers who were advanced/expert skiers. Including a woman who was missing both ACLs and was a ski patroller. Note that my knee injury had nothing to do with skiing. However, my approach to rehab and ongoing ski fitness has everything to do with being a ski nut who is now over 65. I didn't become a solid advanced skier until after 55 because I hadn't thought lessons would be worthwhile. Even as I paid for ski school for my daughter from age 4-12.

While you consider options, may be useful to work with a physical therapist. I started working with my personal trainer before the PT sessions were over. That way I could pass on to her the ideas I learned in PT. Then she and I continued to research what were the most relevant exercises for a skier. Strengthening hamstrings is key. So is working on 1-leg balance, hip flexibility. In general, core strength is more important than leg strength.

I put the most useful info for ski fitness into a blog for older skiers.

 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Thank you-- there was also a recommended boot fitter about 2 hours, and once I clear the medical part, I will schedule an appointment for refitting of my boots. And I agree my knee guy did not get the concept - 65 is the new 50 for me
Your knee guy would probably be surprised by the stories in this thread. :smile:

 

IceHeeler

Angel Diva
If you do want to ski in a brace, I highly recommend Stoko tights. They are expensive enough that I only have one pair, but the difference in wearing them when I ski or a long hike is worth the cost. (They are a lot more comfortable than wearing my traditional brace. I'm just under a year out from a TPF with a metal plate and screws.)
 

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