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Skiing with back and leg conditions

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
When I was 18 months old I had a bone graph operation on my lower right leg, as the leg was thin and curved. I wore a leg brace until i was 9 years old. At which point i was diagnosed with scoliosis and wore a back brave until i was 13, when my spine was straightened and I had a steel pin put into my spine. Yes I know, but kids get on with it, especially with positive parents. Despite all this, my Dad took me down slopes between his knees when I was about 4, and I went skiing in California aged 6, 9 and 12 and loved it! We never mentioned to the Docs about the skiing but they seemed to notice an improvement in the leg after each ski holiday.
Fast forward 29 years, I am a 41 year old professional pilot, currently based at Aberdeen. Iíve been incredibly lucky that the conditions havenít had much negative affect on me apart from slightly reduced flexibity, and I canít remember what it was like not to have the pin anyway.
In the 10 days Iíve been skiing twice at Glenshee. One issue I think Iím going to have is it is difficult to bring my right foot up enough to hold a good position. Also, because my lower right leg is slightly curved (the apex forward) ski boots are a little uncomfortable. My walk in the boots back to the rental centre, especially with tired legs resembled Douglas Badar! I see a thread here (Ďslight disabilitiesí) that mention flex boots. Can anyone suggest if they might help?
Also, given the pin in my spine (which generally makes me very strong in the back) Iím wondering if some kind of back protector is wise. Does anyone have any experience of these, are they compatable with skiing or a hinderence?
I donít want to have to ski clobbered with special stuff and Iím alergic to making allowances for my medical background. Itís also a bit early in my skiing career to drop hundreds of quid on kit, I think. Just wondered if anyone has either experience of similar or medical expertise that could offer advice? I donít know enough about skiing to know the common injury risks. Iím going to enjoy my skiing and accept there is an element of risk, but anything that can make it comfortable and safe has got to be a bonus.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Back protectors are definitely available - an instructor I know won't ski without one, and someone else had a back protector which he originally used for off-road biking and which had overlapping segments, rolling up like an armadillo when not worn.

As for common injury risks, knees are the prime targets - not much you can do about that though. I have "KneeBindings" fitted to my skis which can protect your knees from ACL damage in certain types of fall, but as you say, you can spend a lot of money on all this!
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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?
Thanks. Well, the knee risk is the same for me as it is for anyone else I guess. A lower right leg break would be a different matter but I could do that falling anywhere. As for the back protector, I think at this stage, with normal beginers level skiing, Iíll go without. Perhaps if I start doing more adventurous stuff (or if I scsre myself!) later Iíll have a re-think.
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From what you've said, the first thing it might be worth looking for would be a good and reputable boot fitter to custom fit boots to give you the best stance on both skis and the best comfort whilst skiing. Walking in ski boots is a different challenge!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@motyl, You might be right, although i found it easier today (3rd time.)
As I mentioned before, i have reduced strength in my lower right leg (although i walk normally) Tonight, i balanced on my right leg easily for an extended period. Canít remember the last time i could do that, even when I was cycling a lot. Guess the skiing is doing some good there!
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That's really good to hear! I find skiing cures many ills snowHead
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