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Ask The Expert

Injuries & Surgery: Knee Injuries

Jonathan Bell
Jonathan Bell
Jonathan specialises in knee surgery, but he can advise on a wide range of sports injuries.
Question:
I tore my ACL at the begining of the year. I have had an operation to replace it, should I ski this winter or wait a year?
Answer:

The earliest you can return to sport is six months. The decision to allow you return to sport is not so much how much time has passed, although that is a consideration, but more whether you have fully rehabilitated. It could be disastrous to ski, even in a brace, before you have completed you recovery.

This requires recovery of movement, strength and balance. You then need to be further prepared with excercises that are ski-specific to minimise the risk of further injury when returning to ski.

There is little high quality evidence to justify the use of a brace and it is definitely a very poor substitute for putting in the hard graft in the gym! However some people feel they need it for confidence. You should be able to recover sufficiently if your surgery and recovery have gone well but I do find that very frequently the end-stage rehab is inadequately finished off and not ski specific.

It is for this very reason that we have started a 'Return from injury Ski Camp' in Verbier. You would be assessed by our Physiotherapist and brought up to the required level then taken back onto snow in Verbier with myself, the physio and a ski coach. Details can be found on www.wimbledonclinics.co.uk.
 

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