Filed Under (Uncategorized) by housemusic on 07-01-2016

Hello forum,

It’s been 4 years and 5 months since my ATR surgery. In many ways this injury was a life changing event. I often look back to life before and after that day!

So, before the ATR I used to be extremely athletic and I loved my Winter ski trips. Nothing spectacular, no slalom or moguls racing…I was just a mediocre skier with a passion for nature, snow and the great outdoors. Up to now I have not dared to ski. However I go to the gym often, I can still do moderates hikes and I can snow shoe, but my heart is set on a ski trip this Winter and I’m itching to take the plunge!

Unfortunately my operated leg remained smaller and weaker no matter how hard I worked and my balance is not very good. I know many of you deal with the same issues and hope that someone could share their thoughts and experiences on a return to the slopes. Am I dreaming too big for my own good? should I throw in the towel?

One important point: I was 55 years old at time of rupture, I am now 59 and I don’t want to break a bone!


Manny on 8 January, 2016 at 7:16 am #

Housemusic, I rarely ski, though I love it. But I do dance a lot and walk and love hiking, and can understand your fear of a fracture, being 62. If your achilles has been stable for 4 years, why shouldn’t the skiing boots protect you? why do you think you need more strength to handle the skis?

I am just over one month since my injury, and am pushing as much as I can for a quicker return to full mobility, knowing that it will take months to for the achilles tendon to recover, so let me share with you my “youthful inexperienced positivism” and say that Yes, you can ski… just be smart about it. A fellow achillesblog poster just mentioned how he has returned to cross country skiing, and he is still in recovery! :-D His post was last week, if I recall correctly.

Good luck HouseMusic… what style and what instrument do you play?

housemusic on 8 January, 2016 at 1:44 pm #

Thank you for your comment.Your profile is set on private so I could not review your experience. Unlike hiking or dancing or walking, Alpine skiing requires good balance and my balance since the ATR has been pretty bad. That issue, along with my thinning bones, is what has kept me from venturing out in the slopes. Of course, I would be very cautious, but I would hate myself if I got a bone fracture!!!

Manny on 8 January, 2016 at 3:44 pm #

Housemusic, I think everything is set to “public” in my blog, and my privacy settings are allowing even search engines to read my posts. I hope it was just a momentary blip in the software (this morning I was trying to change my theme and my page hung up on me twice). As for the Alpine Skiing, I can understand your issues, since there are a number of things I won’t try any more simply because my body is no longer what it was before. Cross country cycling, for example, would he very high risk at this time. :-)
As for the balance issue, what does your Physical therapist say? Have you checked with a neurologist?

housemusic on 8 January, 2016 at 4:44 pm #

Manny, your profile is open now so i was able to read your story. Very sorry to hear. I am sure it’s been a difficult challenge as it was for me. But at least we both got to live long and productive lives before getting injured. I was already in my mid-50’s and had been an avid athlete my entire life so I can’t complain much when I see people getting an ATR in the prime of their lives.
About my balance, I have not seen my doctor or PT since 2012. There are no easy fixes and I have been very consistent doing my balance exercises so I think this problem, along with the muscle atrophy, are here to stay. The good news for you is that the pain will subside. I suffer for 3 months post surgery. Then little by little, no more pain!

howard on 11 January, 2016 at 10:49 am #


I am two months post surgery, so of course I had to cancel my annual ski trip to Jackson Hole (thank you, American Airlines, for refunding my miles without penalty.

My surgeon assured me that I’ll be able to ski next year. I plan to hold him to it. While I will certainly avoid jumps (I’m 62, so I shouldn’t be jumping anyway), most normal skiing, even on the expert runs, should be fine with a little common sense.

I’ve read and been told that FULL recovery after surgery takes about a year, so it’s no surprise that you’re having trouble now. By this time next year, your skiing should be back to normal.

howard on 11 January, 2016 at 10:51 am #

Oops, Housemusic, I misread how long ago you had your surgery. I thought it was only a few months. Ignore my previous post, and good luck with your recovery.

jeffk58 on 11 January, 2016 at 2:06 pm #

Housemusic - I was back on skis 8 months after surgery and have skied 20+ days since. Because my repaired Achilles is a bit “lumpier” than my good one, I did have to spend a bit of time with a good bootfitter to get my ski boot to fit comfortably. Other than that, I have not found this injury to be an issue on the slopes. Good luck!

pegleg on 16 January, 2016 at 10:54 am #

Hi, I skied 9 months after my ATR and was amazed to find how quickly I forgot I had ever had an ATR. Get good fitting boots and go for it, there is no reason not too - your ankle has plenty support in the boot!

amountainclimber on 19 January, 2016 at 2:37 pm #

I’m 62, so you don’t get to use age as an excuse. If it’s been 4 years since your surgery and your leg is still weak there is ONE REASON. It’s not a function of just going to the gym, IT IS A FUNCTION OF WHAT YOU ARE DOING AT THE GYM.

Look, if you retreat from fear it will chase you down and ultimately you will run out of ground to give. You should be skiing and hiking. There is no excuse for giving up.

Start with this. Hike every day. Mornings are beautiful. Get a backpack and carry weight. Cat litter works perfectly. Start at ten pounds and increase the weight a couple of pounds a week. If your foot hurts ice it, (20 minutes max). Work your way up to 40 pounds.

Hire a trainer. Tell the trainer about your leg and that you want to be skiing again.

When you are stronger start skiing. Look I’m a climber and I’m 62. Something is always fucked up. I am always rehabbing something. If you break something, you break something. Fix it. The next best thing to playing and winning is playing and losing.

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.