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Skies vs blades for broken ACL

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hello everybody,

I would be very grateful if anybody could help me with an advice...
In 2016 I have broken my ACL (knee anterior cruciate ligament) and since then I have done some rehab exercises (I did not go for surgery to have it redone).
I have also bought a Donjoy brace for my knee that I have used for skiing last winter and it was OK (although I am a decent skier, I have only done green and blue slopes because I was scared to try something else).

And someone told me that perhaps I should try the blades instead of the regular skies, as the blades are supposed to be easier for your knees. The person who told me this had problems with his knees (meniscus surgery) and that was the reason for using blades.
Does anybody know if this information is correct? or is there anybody who has experience with both skies and blades and perhaps he could share his view about it?

Thank you very much in advance,
Marius
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I have experience with both, and have a dodgy knee. I completely disagree with your informant - IME blades are (considerably) harder on knees. And if they don't have modern releasable bindings they can be dangerous (spiral fractures....).

I'd stick to your skis, wear your brace and do LOTS of physio to strengthen the muscles round the knees. Stick to pisted slopes, avoid chopped up terrain, ice your knees after skiing and mainline NSAIDs.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Snowboards are easier on the knees too - provided you have both feet in your bindings. If not, and you fall, the torque exerted by that big fat board can be considerable - and I was a regular snowboarder, with my dodgy left knee in the front binding. Did a nasty twist off a chairlift once (I was a rubbish snowboarder) and afterwards used to clip into my (Flow) bindings before dismounting.
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Did you really break your ACL, or just damage it? I'd be concerned about skiing at all if you really broke it and didn't have it surgically repaired! Have you had xray/MRI scan to determine what the actual issue was?

Blades are less stable than skis, especially in less than perfect snow and agree with @pam w, that they are harder on knees.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Good morning everybody,

First of all, thank you very much for your responses, it seems I was about to take a wrong decision.
@Kitenski, I have done three MRIs at different points in time, which say the ligament is broken, but all the orthopedic doctors ( and I have seen four) who checked me said it was impossible to have it broken due to the results I had for the tests passed (basically they asked me to perform various types of movements and they twisted and pulled my leg, I can still jog - not long distances, but with 5-7 km I am ok, or I can play tenis without running too much). That was the reason for not having surgery.

Once again thanks a lot for your info. And stay safe !

Marius
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@marius_sirbu, each person experiences different levels of stability without an ACL, my knee is particularly unstable and i could literally feel it doing an almost figure of 8 movement while walking! Similarly now that i only have half my reconstructed ACL left it is unstable even while sprinting. I found this out the hard way and caused a lot of other damage. That is the risk of skiing and other sports without the ACL the the damage you will do to the rest of the knee.
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Hello @NickyJ and thanks for sharing your view.

Actually, I am pretty much concerned about skiing to be honest...
The only reason that gives me some assurance is a friend of mine who has a broken ACL since she has in her twenties (now she is 39) and she always kept skiing with this brace (it is the one I have also bought): https://www.firstaid4sport.co.uk/blog/how-can-i-keep-skiing-with-a-torn-acl/
By the way, does anybody has more experience with this brace?

Now, I am not saying it is the wisest thing to do, I am just doing some research to understand if there are other people in the same condition who are still skiing and how can I mitigate the risk for further damage. The logical conclusion would be to stop skiing it but that would be very sad Sad ...
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
The only experience I have had relating to blades was when I knew someone who wanted to try them. The guy in the rental shop specifically advised against it because the spring snow would make it really tough on the knees.

I assume from a ‘technical’ point of view it’s because a long ski will offer a certain amount of suspension as it flexes. A blade doesn’t have the length to do that so all the suspension is in the knees.
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@marius_sirbu, are you seeing a Physio? Mine recommended my knee brace (hinged Mueller Hg80 from memory), which is doing me well. If it gets worse I will be looking again at the Ski Mojo (looked at it when the consultant who operated was suggesting I shouldn’t return to skiing l, but thankfully my Physio was much more positive. They should be aware of your rehab and be able to advice you accordingly what is going to help.

Best of luck.
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marius_sirbu wrote:
@Kitenski, I have done three MRIs at different points in time, which say the ligament is broken, but all the orthopedic doctors ( and I have seen four) who checked me said it was impossible to have it broken due to the results I had for the tests passed (basically they asked me to perform various types of movements and they twisted and pulled my leg, I can still jog - not long distances, but with 5-7 km I am ok, or I can play tenis without running too much). That was the reason for not having surgery.


Sounds painful, good luck! Are you able to ask any of the doctors if there is a specific brace they would recommend for you?
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@Kitenski, they have already recommended me one and I have already bought it last winter. It is the Donjoy Armour, you can see it on this page, there is a video with it at the bottom: https://www.firstaid4sport.co.uk/blog/how-can-i-keep-skiing-with-a-torn-acl/

But God only knows if a brace can really help that much, so that you can ski properly...I personally doubt, although as I said last year I have done only easy slopes with this brace and it was ok. But it makes a big difference being on an easy slope than a hard one, no?
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@marius_sirbu, I completely understand where you are coming from! I originally tore my ACL and various other ligaments in my knee about 10 years ago now, and because of my age at the time rolling eyes (52) the surgeon was reluctant to operate. But I managed to do the exercises and strengthened it and skied again, also with a Donjoy knee brace, for about 6 or 7 years before having another fall and undoing all the good I had done. I was left with a horribly unstable knee after the second fall - unstable at all times, not just skiing/tennis playing. This time, I found Jonathan Bell at Wimbledon Clinics who reconstructed my ACL nearly 3 years ago. It has been fantastic! It feels stronger than for a very long time. I now ski without the brace, but with knee bindings, which eject you out sideways apparently if you fall - not tested that yet. I would avoid blades like the plague though wink

Regarding the Donjoy brace, it was fitted by a physio and felt very comfortable to ski in. It also made me feel much safer too - skiing following ACL injury was nerve-wracking for me.

Good luck
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@Genepi, I know the feeling Happy I was scared to death at the first run on the slopes after the ACL injury as well...
And excuse my ignorance please, what do you mean by "knee bindings"? Are they a special type of binding? Would you mind to detail a bit?

Thanks a lot and good luck to you as well,
Marius
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@marius_sirbu, http://www.kneebinding.com/KB-HomePage.aspx

They need to be fitted to your skis, and to me they seem a good idea. Anything to help avoid further damage!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I wonder how many people would pay extra for these on hire skis - I would
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
swarmcatcher wrote:
I wonder how many people would pay extra for these on hire skis - I would


I certainly would have but instead bought them and have these on my skis and is why I will pay more on ski carriage than it would cost to hire in resort to ensure that I have my knee bindings, to attempt to preserve what is left of my reconstructed ACL.
snow conditions     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
marius_sirbu wrote:
Hello everybody,

I would be very grateful if anybody could help me with an advice...
In 2016 I have broken my ACL (knee anterior cruciate ligament) and since then I have done some rehab exercises (I did not go for surgery to have it redone).
I have also bought a Donjoy brace for my knee that I have used for skiing last winter and it was OK (although I am a decent skier, I have only done green and blue slopes because I was scared to try something else).

And someone told me that perhaps I should try the blades instead of the regular skies, as the blades are supposed to be easier for your knees. The person who told me this had problems with his knees (meniscus surgery) and that was the reason for using blades.
Does anybody know if this information is correct? or is there anybody who has experience with both skies and blades and perhaps he could share his view about it?

Thank you very much in advance,
Marius


Hi

Im not sure there will be a huge advantage to using blades in preference to skis in an ACL deficient knee- the knee is either unstable or it isn't.

Jonathan Bell
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@genepi, is it ok if I pm you re the knee binding?
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I had the first tweak of my left ACL 38 years ago aged just over 30 (yes I am now 69!). I have injured my left knee 8 times now, had an ACL replacement, tibial plateau fracture, torn hamstring and tweaked various other ligaments. I am currently waiting for surgery on a cartilage tear done last summer but postponed it so I could ski this winter. I have worn a CTi brace for the last 20 years. With the brace on I can ski anything I want to ski, reds, blacks, moguls. I also wear it for Scottish country dancing or climbing munros - anything where my knee could twist too much. The ACL repair is fine for normal life but as I have had so much other damage I need the knee to be more stable at times. Just back from 2 weeks in the Savoire skiing 3V, Les Arcs, La Plagne and Espace Killy. Once I get the cartilage repaired I should be good to keep going to get my free ski passes, most resorts for over 75 year olds!
I would certainly advise against blades and never use any without a proper release binding. I have witnessed some dreadful accidents on them!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Mrs Ski has done both ACLs, and had them reconstructed. She now telemarks --- much easier on the knee.
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genepi wrote:
@marius_sirbu, http://www.kneebinding.com/KB-HomePage.aspx

They need to be fitted to your skis, and to me they seem a good idea. Anything to help avoid further damage!


Pretty sure Jon at the Piste Office carries these bindings.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Braces are all find and dandy but also go see a physio that know skii'ing and can work out the proper technique that palces least amount of strain on your knee for your specific injury.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
midgetbiker wrote:
genepi wrote:
@marius_sirbu, http://www.kneebinding.com/KB-HomePage.aspx

They need to be fitted to your skis, and to me they seem a good idea. Anything to help avoid further damage!


Pretty sure Jon at the Piste Office carries these bindings.


I bought mine from him and he fitted them to my ski’s.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Instead of blades, I'd recommend Atomic ETL 123cm
This is a very short adult ski with proper bindings, and they are great fun to ski on.
If you can find them anywhere.

But the problem is slow falls are not going to release any bindings I know about.
But they will do a lot of damage to a knee.

I've not done an ACL .. mine was a Medial Meniscus damaged in a rotational torque twist snag.
I'm OK now thank the good Lord but it took more than 6 months to get over it.

Mo-Jos ..I do use them .. I was not using them when I had my accident.
But I doubt wether they would protect you from further injury over a brace.
But they will help if you're muscles are shot to the point of having difficulty climbing stairs.
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