Author Topic: Back on skis!  (Read 2670 times)

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John C

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Back on skis!
« on: December 15, 2008, 11:11:39 PM »
I got back on my skis last week ;D, cheating a little at one week short of the six months that my Doctor recommended. So far, I am pretty happy with how it is going. As a little background, I am a pretty serious ski addict, having grown up racing, won a few titles in moguls and aerials, and have been teaching for 38 years averaging 800 hours a year (I wonder why my hip wore out ::)). My situation was maybe a little unusual in that I have not been able to stand up straight, walk without a severe limp, or move my hip very far in any direction without pain, for many years :'(; but I have still been able to ski at a fairly high level, with some compensations. My initial recovery from surgery was very slow and uncomfortable (six weeks on crutches), I think due in large part to a failed alternative treatment from another doctor that I tried before I committed to the resurfacing.
For my first day back on skis, I had promised myself, and my wife, that I would start on the beginner chair :-\. The first few turns were very weak and tentative, but after a few runs, things started to feel okay. Since it was a perfect powder morning, my will-power broke down after three runs on the beginner chair, and we headed for the top. By the end of the first day, we had skied everything from steep powder runs, to high speed carving on the groomers :D
After a week on skis, here is what I have learned so far. The muscles that were cut during surgery are still pretty weak, and get sore whenever the G forces get very large, like in carving race turns. Any impacts, like hitting a set-up pile in chopped powder, causes pain. I have been dealing with that impact pain for well over 10 years, and it is just slightly worse than before. My ROM is coming back very slowly, but I think that the positive effects are starting to slightly show up on skis. Those first few days, the skiing was so great that I was pushing it hard for six+ hours a day, and was a little sore afterwards, and at night. I have cut back to about four hours a day, and feel fine afterwards, maybe a little stiff.
I started back teaching today with some of my stronger students, and am pretty confident that I will be back to where I was before surgery, skiing-wise, within another month or two. (Things like walking and being able to stand up straight, are already going great). After that, I hope to be able to continue to improve, and get rid of some of the compensations that I have been making for years.
I guess that the message in all this, is that even if you are having a slow and painful recovery, like I did for the first couple of months, skiing can be in your future before you know it :).
John/ Left uncemented Biomet/ Dr Gross/ 6-16-08
Right uncemented Biomet/Dr Gross/ 4/25/18


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Re: Back on skis!
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2008, 04:52:14 AM »

Way to go!  I am hoping for my recovery to come along and for me to find that point where I can do my thing.  I kite surf, and it can be easy and smooth, or you can find yourself in a bumpy bad situation and tumbling along with a kite pulling you where it wants to go.  It is very encouraging to hear you in your enviorment doing your thing, and to know that to take the baby steps first then go for it after your mind tells you to go!  It is also good to know how you adjusted your time on the sloops too.  I know I am a few months away till 6 months, but at 3 months I might be able to do some surfing or other things that might keep me busy and strenghten me up for the kite.  I have been at the beach alot, swimming around, paddling a board, or just walking in the sand, the sand walking is great for strenght and balance.

Do a run for me, no snow for me here,


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Re: Back on skis!
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2008, 08:59:15 AM »

Your post has made my day.  Great to hear about someone getting back to an activity that is so much a part of them.  I raced in college (GS & Slalom) and there is nothing like carving turns on a clear morning on the slopes.  I only ski recreational now a days when I get the time.  Dr. said I am not allowed until next year.  After you do Eric's run do one for me.

L-BHR - Aug 2008 - Dr. Brooks  Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
R-BHR - Dec 2012 - Dr. Brooks  Cleveland Clinic Euclid Hospital
L-BHR Revision Nov 2017 - Dr. Brooks Euclid


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Re: Back on skis!
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2008, 11:28:15 AM »

Great that you returned to skiing at 6 months post-op with no problems.  I will be 6 months post-op on March 29, 2009, with 3 weekends remaining for Spring Skiiing in Juneau, Alaska.  I've been mulling postponing my return to skiing until next year, but its encouraging to read your report.  If we have good snow coverage and corn snow this Spring, I will return.  I like the increased daylight and sunshine for that portion of the ski season.
LBHR 60mm/54mm Dr Su 9/29/08 age 55
RBHR 60mm/54mm Dr Su 11/1/19 age 66
Age 70



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