10 Weeks - Update and Snow Skiing Question

So I’ve been walking 2 Shoes for just under 2 weeks now and all is good. I’ve been spinning more and more on my staionary bike (not with me boot anymore) and it really seems to help loosen up the ankle without too much strain. I still have a noticable limp but it’s getting better each day (I’m guessing it’ll be visible for another 7-10 days). I still have a 1/2 inch pad in my left shoe. I’ve had 3 PTsessions, one of which was very painful but seemed to help.

Wondering if anyone can tell me how soon they went snow skiing after Post ATR? Trying to plan a family vacation for Thanksgiving which would be 19 weeks Post ATR….will I make it?


  1. ultidad Said,

    September 27, 2009 @ 10:34 pm

    I am about 7 weeks behind you, so can’t comment from an experience standpoint, but my surgeon told me that he thought it would be OK if I skied any time after November, which would be 14-15 weeks for me.

  2. dsut4392 Said,

    September 28, 2009 @ 12:55 am

    My surgeon told me I should avoid activities that require eccentric contraction until 5-6 months post rupture. That would mainly include things like trail-running (rock-hopping in particular) squash or other explosive running sports. Skiing really sits at the edge of the spectrum in this regard - you’re pretty well supported by the boot (so long as it is well fitted), but there are occasions (jumps, bumps) which could involve quite a bit of power through the front of the foot. You would probably be unlucky for anything to go wrong, and you could certainly take it easy, but there is at least one person on the site who did their original ATR while skiing…(http://achillesblog.com/michael/)
    I’m at week 12 now and not planning to ski until late Jan/Feb, but then living in Australia I won’t be faced with too much temptation! If I were living somewhere snowy no doubt my resolution to stay off the skis until 6 months post-op wouldn’t be worth the paper it’s written on! Bring on the Japanese powder!

  3. smoley Said,

    September 28, 2009 @ 5:59 am

    mmorgan - I had my ATR (sugical route) at the end of August. At the time I hoped that I might be able to ski this winter, maybe get some late snow in March rather than our usual Jan/Feb and my surgeon seemed to go along with this. But recently I’ve stopped kidding myself and have decided that I’m just going to have to give it a miss this year. Even if the AT is well healed I’ll still have a big strength deficit on that side.
    I ruptured my cruciate ligament skiing about 5 years ago, and although I was back skiing the following year, it wasn’t much fun. I was nervous of hurting myself again, and that made me tense so needless to say my skiing was rubbish and I had no fun.
    I must confess I’m amazed at ultidad’s surgeon saying 14-15 weeks, but then the UK approach to ATR does seem to be very slow and cautious generally.
    Good luck with your recovery,

  4. stonebuddy Said,

    September 28, 2009 @ 11:41 am

    Skiing or snow boarding? I’d be interested to know if one is better than the other from impact on the achilles point of view. I’m only a week or so behind you and thanksgiving seems like a bit of a rush as I was worrying about being up to snuff for some spring skiing. My first reaction is to think its a bad idea, but maybe start slow and see how it feels. If you mess it up again, you will surely get the “I told you so award” from your friends and family.

  5. tomtom Said,

    September 28, 2009 @ 12:08 pm

    mmorgan - It depends on how much risk you’re willing to take. Be careful when comparing timelines as we all heal at different speeds. I think you probably could ski at 19 weeks, but is it worth it. Unfortunately only you can answer that question. If your trip was planned long before, I would say go for it. But, since you’re planning it now I would probably play it cautiously and wait a few more weeks. You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy skiing later in the season.

  6. Mark Morgan Said,

    September 28, 2009 @ 7:44 pm

    Hi everyone, thank-you all so much for your comments….it’s given me a lot to think about.

    Mark (aka Ouch)

  7. Dylan Said,

    September 28, 2009 @ 9:01 pm

    Re skiing or boarding, it probably makes little difference. The maximal force on the tendon will be limited by your calf muscle strength. If you’re still weak enough that this strength will be overwhelmed by the terrain, it’s too early (risking re-rupture or broken ankle at max dorsiflexion). If your range of motion is still limited by the length of your tendon/calf, again, you probably shouldn’t be doing either.
    While skiing potentially places more leverage on the tendon (the length of the ski vs width of the board), that will be partially offset by having greater support from the ski boot. And while boarding theoretically also lets you share the load between your feet, managing this on a conscious level won’t be realistic; your body will go with the flow and react to the terrain and your intended line and trying to do this at the same time as limiting stress on your tendon either won’t work, or you won’t hold that line!
    Both skiing and boarding you’re putting down maximum force when edging. In skiing that’s mostly inside edge, front/back weighting varies around neutral. In boarding, front edge turns take the weight through your toes. Catch an unforeseen bump mid turn and…

    (ps I’m a reasonable skier but have only spent one day on a board so my assessment in that regard is mainly theoretical)

    Dylan (dsut4392)

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