8.5 Months!

Hi All,

It’s been an awful long time since I last posted. Well I can say that my life is now pretty much back to normal. Small things that I wouldn’t have done like running for a bus or a train, I now don’t think twice about doing.
I have been on many late nights out where I have put my ATR repaired leg under strain busting moves on the dance floor. I have done some running and got up to 1.5 miles, however I decided to stop with the running as it was aggravating my knee on the ATR side. I can now do a calf raise on the bad leg and have been to able do one for a while now.

I still get the occasional pain in the area but its rare and it can feel tight at times. But it quickly loosens up after a brief period of walking or activity.

So I have a few questions for those of you at the year plus mark.

I still find I don’t quite have the push off strength on the ATR leg. I think this is partly me being cautious about it as well. Does this ever come back?

The main query I have is that I plan on going skiing in January, which will be 10.5 months post surgery. For those of you that went skiing after the injury, what was your experience? Is there anything that I should focus on these next 2 months leading up to it? I think flexibility will be important.

I have currently began strength weight lifting again in the gym to prevent the loading that the calf has to take on the trip which I think will help aswell.

5 Responses to “8.5 Months!”

  1. I have not been skiing. I’m behind you in my ATR, being at about 4-5 months. I had previous surgery and atrophy and dealing with my leg. From that experience and ATR and the indication of knee issues, I think you are bang on with strengthening beyond your calf.

    The ATR focus is to strengthen our calves but I would really work from core down entire leg, hips, gluts, hamstrings, quads, knee and of course calf/ankle/foot. Lots on net for skiing conditioning and exercises also.

    After a knee surgery many years ago I worked out both legs at the same time. I was sure I was doing great. Both legs were very strong and sports consumed much of my time. However, my surgical knee remained smaller when measured years later. I was told this is because without me knowing it the stronger leg would take more of the load and the workout would be imbalanced.

    It feels odd for me, and time consuming but I am going to work not only both legs but also the one leg independently.

    It may help if docs/physios talked about ATR and subsequent atrophy as an “injury” to the whole leg and therefore rehab needs to be whole leg. We can understand it conceptually, but I don’t know if there’s enough follow through with rehab work required on leg.

    Related to all of the above, I have been reading much about causes of sports injuries apart from impact. There is a great deal of information with respect to leg mechanics being a chain where inflexibility, weakness or imbalance in one area could lead to stress/pain or injury in another part.

    Sounds like you realize much of this, but good query for all of us in many ways.

  2. I skied a week in Whistler full-speed at 17 weeks post-non-op this last time, no problem. I was still nervous walking in 2 shoes, ankle felt wobbly, but no problem even on ungroomed single diamonds and maybe a double (though I never do many doubles at Whistler).

    You’re much farther along and stronger (I STILL don’t have a good 1-leg heel raise!) and probably more flexible than I was then. My only accommodation to the ATR was that I bought some thinner ski socks, because my left ankle was still a bit bigger than my right, and the boot was uncomfortably tight with fat socks.

    When I first skied after my FIRST ATR (post-op, much slower rehab, much later on), I adjusted my heel binding way down. The second time I may have lowered it a bit, but not as much. I usually go at about DIN 7 or a hair below. The first time, I got into my right ski boot and snapped into my ski in the basement, after setting the heel binding to DIN 0. Snapped in, and pushed my knee forward to snap out. Then DIN 1, same thing, then 2, then 3. I think I stopped at DIN 3.5 then phoned SkiCan (the tour operator) to add my 6-day lift ticket to my package.

    This last time, I may have had that binding down to DIN 5.5 or 6, but I don’t think I went any lower than that. And yes, I did crash a few times with binding releases, no problem. One time on Whistler Bowl (big steep-and-deep field of Volkswagen-Beetle bumps) I had a “yard sale” where I left both skis about 20′ above me on the slope! I was NOT looking forward to side-stepping up to my skis. Just then, a WONDERFUL Japanese gentleman skied over to my skis, stuck them together, cradled them in his arms, skied-slid down to me and HANDED them to me! :-) Oh Thank You Thank You Thank You!!

    But even through that, I think my calf and AT were bored. They were nervous when I was walking around the studio-loft condo (narrow windy staircase!), and when I was padding around Whistler Village, all in shoes. Snowboarders have a tougher time getting back on the slopes, because their boots are usu much softer. But going from 2 shoes into ski boots is a lot like going back into an orthotic boot — though most people don’t slide down any roofs while their in an orthotic boot! ;-)

  3. Teek22, I just posted a reply which is “awaiting moderation” — meaning that nobody can see it but you and me unless/until you go into your Dashboard and look for “Pending” Comments and approve it. I’m not sure WHY it’s pending. Multiple URLs usually cause that (and you can change the limit in Tools|Discussion), but not this time.

  4. Thanks for your replies guys, Sorry about that Norm I have been ridiculously busy since making this post. It was nothing intentional!

    @ Bionic - Great piece of information, I guess it just further emphasises how its important to ensure the whole body is strong and flexibile.

    @ Norm - It’s great to here you went skiing 17 weeks in and it was fine. Puts my mind to rest about me going. Its worth mentioning thoguh that my calf raise isn’t like my good leg and I don’t think it will ever get there. But to all extent and purposes I’m almost back to as good as I can get in my opinion.

    I am looking forward to pushing myself on the slopes and really having that rush again after this very very long year.

    I think I will have my DIN bindings a little bit lower just to ensure they do pop off - it’s a great idea!

  5. I’m guessing that your leg will be stronger and more normal-feeling in a mont, and 2, and 3. You’re past the “every day is better” stage, but you’re not through recovering closer and closer to fully recovered.

    BTW, I took a couple of “extra” tumbles on my last Whistler ski week when my ski popped off when I was skiing aggressively but having fun. Turns out I’d never cranked that heel binding back up to where I like it! So it’s a tradeoff — one MORE! :-) And now that I’m starting to enter brittle geezer-dom (68 now), that ski-binding tradeoff gets more interesting.

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