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Broken ankle and getting back into skiing

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi I'm looking for some advise, i broke my ankle and my leg in Jan, now have steel either side of my ankle and 14 screws.

I'm hoping to have a steady ski holiday this winter, nothing to extream but I'm looking for some advise or pointers on where to begin, would getting some new boots moulded help?

Thanks

Matt
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Mattcockayne, Hi and welcome snowHead

I broke my ankle a couple of years ago, and skied on it without even thinking about any of that! However, it was a fibula fracture only and didn't require any operating.

Do you already have your own boots? Do they still fit? Has the shape of your leg changed? Do you still have full range of movement? If not, have you had physio, or could you get some (asap) to try and improve things? Have you spoken to your surgeon about skiing? Do they want to take the metal out?
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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?
Welcome to snowHeads @Mattcockayne, snowHead
I had a really ankle bad break in May 2016 and skied with no issues the 16/17 season but only after I had a hole cut out of my liner and boots remolded to accommodate the pressure on plate, screws and pins. Before that, it was virtually impossible to ski but after that no problems at all.
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I broke ankle (webber B) Nov 17 (dog had its "op" then knocked me over in revenge) and skied 11 weeks later, twas a tad uncomfortable I have to admit. By the 18/19 season it was absolutely fine though, just the occasional twinge. Definitely get the boots re-looked at though, and try a few sessions at an indoor snowdome well before the tip - would give you a good confidence boost.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Broke my ankle yesterday, skied offpiste on a flat section into an approx. 2m drop which was a flat landing. Surprised it wasn‘t marked as you couldn’t see anything from above. Right foot landed on the side of a rock which twisted the leg and broke it. Sad
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I didn‘t need an operation so guess I am looking at around 6-8 weeks before I can ski again?
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@DB, in ski boots? Unlucky. Fib fracture? You'll probably get 2 or 3 casts over 6 weeks, as it heals. If you are confident and persuasive (and your doctor is a skier wink ), you should be able to ski at 6 weeks, gently, in stiff boots. If you can get your boots on, that is Shocked Be aware, it will hurt like f*ck until about week 8, so take a pocket of ibuprofen with you. At week 10, it'll probably be a bit more comfortable. Make sure you get booked in for physio asap when the cast comes off.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Ouch. Sorry to hear that, @DB. Ankles are tricky - fingers crossed it clears up without complications. 6 weeks optimistic, I'd say.
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@Scarlet,
Yes in ski boots. Th doc didn‘t give me any x-ray pics but suspect it is an a) or b) break in this pic.

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@DB, they didn't even show you on the screen? You should ask to see next time you go in (you may well get a few more anyway). Mine was C, I think, slightly above the joint itself.
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@DB, It must be a stable fracture, or they would've sent you for an op first, so that's a good sign. I actually found driving to be more problematic than skiing, because you lose the ability to push down through the heel, and also the fine motor control needed to manage the pedals (mine was the left). Physio will help with this. It was about 15 weeks before I could drive without it aching a lot afterwards.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I hope that gets fixed quickly. My own "ankle break" was relatively minor and with work I was back at full speed within a couple of months. However NHS physio was for old people who they were trying to "get mobile" again, not for athletes trying to get back on the snow, so I bought my own and pushed it hard. I'm convinced that this is one thing where the harder you work the quicker it's fixed.

DB wrote:
... skied offpiste on a flat section into an approx. 2m drop which was a flat landing. Surprised it wasn‘t marked ...
I'm not blaming anyone here, but to clarify, I'd always assumed that "off piste" hazards are typically not going to be marked?
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philwig wrote:


DB wrote:
... skied offpiste on a flat section into an approx. 2m drop which was a flat landing. Surprised it wasn‘t marked ...
I'm not blaming anyone here, but to clarify, I'd always assumed that "off piste" hazards are typically not going to be marked?


It was a ski route. Showed the first aid guy at the ski resort the pic and where it was on the map - he said „yes that should be marked, we will send someone up there to mark it“. If it was totally out of bounds I‘d agree with you.

Thanks for the physio tip.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
philwig wrote:
I'm convinced that this is one thing where the harder you work the quicker it's fixed.

Yep, totally agree. You should be able to get a decent sports physio in Vienna though and insurance should pay most of it back (mine ended up costing about 100€). Get a balance board, do lots of hiking. Once the bone has knitted back and you can walk again, everything else goes a lot quicker.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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Mattcockayne, Anumber of years ago, SWMBO broke her ankle at Christmas, break and dislocation, needed an op and had one screw in the ankle. We had to cancel our Feb/ March trip

This was removed after 6 weeks,she said she wouldnt feel comfortable wearing ski boots with it still there, as you could feel it through the skin. It would have been possible to have her boots adjusted to take this into account though. There wasnt any way she'd get her boots on after 2 months.

Although she was able to walk after a couple of months, we still planned to go away and her not ski, end of March - however the consultant wouldnt give consent to fly due to swelling etc. of the ankle.

Good news was I went for two weeks alone Toofy Grin
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
So is your name a celebration, @Bones?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
pam w, Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
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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?
Mrs BS broke one ankle and sprained the other on a Mogul field - helicoptered off etc etc (all covered on MPI Insurance and EHIC)

She was able to ski following season by following advise and bought a pair of rear entry boots, there was no way she was going to get her original boots on. Gently Skied in the rear entries for a season and then after screws plates etc removed took her boots to Solutions 4 Feet where the really nice people made a few adjustments (free of charge) so she could get them on and wear them comfortably.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Sat 8-01-22 13:38; edited 3 times in total
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I think a lot depends on the ironmongery. My son had a fair bit of ironmongery, inserted by a surgeon in Innsbruck, after breaking his ankle badly toboganning (he broke it badly and was tobogganing idiotically). Surgeons back here said the Austrian work was very good, but after a year or so he felt it would never be "right" unless the ironmongery was removed. So it was.
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So am I still likely to have boot issues even though I didn’t need any ironmongery? I‘m running an old set of reformed liners in a new set of touring boots so was planning to buy new thermo formable liners anyway. My alpine boots might need punching out at the ankle now as they are foam injection.


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Sat 8-01-22 13:50; edited 1 time in total
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Worried about my fitness level dropping off. Are there any non-weight bearing exercises I can do to reduce the effect of this (e.g. swimming)
Already going to try using my cross trainer using only one leg. Very Happy

Have a multi-day ski touring trip planned late April, wondering if I should cancel.
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@DB, Boot wise my wife's initial problem was a lack of flex to allow foot into boot - cured by rear entry. Then the problem was pressure/friction on the scars/metalwork.
The sprained ankle had less flex than the broken one...
Depends on your pain threshold guess Shocked
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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!
@DB, rotten luck. Definitely see a sports physio. There’s loads of safe exercise you can do to maintain strength and aerobic in non-affected areas. (I say this not as a physio but someone who had tib/acl fracture and started rehab v soon after injury - really helped with recovery and getting back to sport). Good luck - keep us posted with progress!
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DB wrote:
So am I still likely to have boot issues even though I didn’t need any ironmongery? I‘m running an old set of reformed liners in a new set of touring boots so was planning to buy new thermo formable liners anyway. My alpine boots might need punching out at the ankle now as they are foam injection.

Not necessarily. I haven't had any. Any swelling you have now will go down in a few days, so it should go back to its original shape. If anything, you may find it's a little skinnier because of muscle atrophy.

Are you in a cast? I assumed you were, but I guess they don't always to that.
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@Scarlet,

Yes I‘m in a cast. Have to have another cast made a week after the accident. According to the paperwork I will be in a cast for 6 weeks.

Biggest problem is that the cast goes right up to behind my knee so I can’t even bend my knee to 90 deg.
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DB wrote:
Yes I‘m in a cast. Have to have another cast made a week after the accident. According to the paperwork I will be in a cast for 6 weeks.

Biggest problem is that the cast goes right up to behind my knee so I can’t even bend my knee to 90 deg.

Yes, the first one will work loose in a few days as the swelling reduces. You'll be rattling around in it, so they'll give you a new one next week. After 4 weeks, you'll probably get a lightweight plastic one, which is much easier. I don't know why it would go so high though – I'm not a doctor wink but I'd probably be taking some sandpaper to the top so it's comfortable, and ask them not to go so high next week. Though aren't you supposed to be horizontal on the sofa with it elevated on a pillow for now?

You can't really do much while you have the cast on, but once it's off you can do a lot more. Swimming and hiking are both good physio for ankles. Non-impact sports really – bouldering is one thing you can't do for ages, because of the landings, so anything similar will be out. If you ski, you won't want to do any jumps/drops for a while, and will need a strict no-crash policy (getting up of the ground is difficult, because you need to apply weight sideways/twisting. A buddy to pick you up is much easier).
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
DB, as you're supposed to be non weight bearing with the cast on, try doing plenty of straight leg lifts - will keep the quads working, and reverse ones too.
I've known a couple of gents use a static bike one legged with toes straps / cycling shoes.

Scarlet, the points about non impact stuff, are what SWMBO was told too - though never thought about getting up after a ski fall.

Colin at Solutions4Feet sorted her boots out once the screw ws removed and she was back up to normal stuff. Shes been fine since skiing Madeye-Smiley
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DB wrote:
@Scarlet,
Yes in ski boots. Th doc didn‘t give me any x-ray pics but suspect it is an a) or b) break

If it were "a", there's likely to be significant associated ligament injuries too (that was mine last year). Which means your ankle is quite unstable for the initial few weeks after the cast comes off. Be careful walking on icy surfaces when you're not in ski boots.

I'm told the main problems are pain and stiffness, neither of which I had much of. What I had was sensitivity in one spot (bone bruise) that makes wearing shoes with collar extremely uncomfortable. I never tried ski boots as my break was mid-season. So by the time it healed up enough, the snow was gone enough I opted to start cycling in earnest instead.

Nearly a year on, it still mildly painful with certain movement.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
abc wrote:

If it were "a", there's likely to be significant associated ligament injuries too (that was mine last year). Which means your ankle is quite unstable for the initial few weeks after the cast comes off. Be careful walking on icy surfaces when you're not in ski boots.


After the cast comes off his ankle won't even move and he'll need physio/reeducation to get it working again. I think DB is quite an old guy too so I wouldn't rush things and think more about next season now with maybe a few turns at the of the season in good conditions.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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Thanks for the straight leg lifts tip.


http://youtube.com/v/oV99_zvhl_A&t=99s&pp=2AFjkAIB
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Scarlet,

Yes will be cutting the cast today.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I‘m 53 but healthy and fit (for my age).
How long does it take to get the ankle going again after the cast is off? Just thinking how realistic the ski touring trip at the end of April will be. Probably best I cancel and get on the bike at that time of year.
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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?
You can get it going in a few days. It will probably take a couple of months to get the full range of motion back, but you wouldn’t necessarily need that for a ski tour. End of April is about 15 weeks? You should be pretty good by then.
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Yep, 15 weeks.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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DB, No problem, remember to do both legs wink as your aim is to get the bad leg up to your good ones standard - but you keep improving that one too.

If you can lie on your front and do the reverse lift too - even better Madeye-Smiley

When it gets easy, hang a light weight on the foot first Toofy Grin Increase as needed
SWMBO didnt appreciate that to start, however the benefits were reaped later. Madeye-Smiley
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@DB, if you want some inspiration about rehabbing while recovering, check out John Collinson’s instagram feed - he had a big knee reconstruction op a couple of months back after nasty crash last season.
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DB wrote:
Just thinking how realistic the ski touring trip at the end of April will be. Probably best I cancel and get on the bike at that time of year.

If there isn't an early deadline you have to cancel for a full refund, I wouldn't cancel just yet. Ankle is a complex joint with lots of redundancy. So every break (and recovery) is different. Yours could very well be fine, or not. You'll have a lot more realistic feel a few weeks after the cast comes off. That still leaves you with at least month to decide.
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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!
Update : Went to the hospital today at 9:40 CET to get the plaster cast changed which they did. They then took an X-ray and said, „this should have been operated on.“ So guess who is sat in hospital waiting to have a plate and screws installed? Evil or Very Mad

The metalwork has to stay in for 12 months so cancelled the ski touring trip. Ski season most likely over.

This has gone from being told on the hill that it wasn‘t broke, to being told at the medical center that it didn’t need an OP to this. rolling eyes
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@DB, Sorry to hear that - if it's any consolation, it's better to be fixed properly!
My wife managed a spiral fracture of her tibia which was plated to hold it all together and she was advised by her UK surgeon that the bones tend to flex a little when skiing, but the metal plates don't - so she had the plates removed 12 months later and has been absolutely fine ever since.
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@DB, bummer, sorry to hear that. Why the change of heart? Different doctor, I presume? Had it moved since last week? Did you manage to get a squiz at the X-ray yourself this time? Sorry, sounding like the Spanish Inquisition there… rolling eyes
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