How to get back on the ski hill after a knee dislocation

December 17, 2014

If you’ve suffered a knee dislocation, you may be wondering what it will take to get you back on the slopes.

How to get back on the ski hill after a knee dislocation

Powering down the slopes is one of the most satisfying and fun ways to enjoy the winters we have here. However, injuries are common in skiing and as your body ages, harder to recover from. Knees are especially prone to injury, because of the amount of wear and tear they take going down the hill. If you're wondering if you can ski again after a knee dislocation, here are a few things to consider.

How did this happen to me?

Catching an edge, landing awkwardly after a jump, landing on unseen rocks, or crashing head over heels can all lead to injuries like knee dislocations. You would probably never realize how much you rely on fully functioning knees in your daily life until you injure one. This is why you should always ski with a buddy.

How serious is it?

Knee dislocations can range in severity, including anything like more minor twists that you can recover from in roughly eight to 10 weeks, to more extreme dislocations that tear the ACL, MCL or tear the meniscus and require extensive surgery. In all cases, seeing a doctor is a necessity, and depending on the severity of the injury, you'll probably have to do some sort of physiotherapy (either on its own, or after surgery).

It is not all downhill?

Doing physiotherapy is the key to returning to any physical activity, but especially if you hope to return to skiing. Because of how important the knees are in skiing, you need them to be as strong and flexible as possible. This is why even though it may be painful, or you may feel fatigued, or you might just be bored of your physiotherapy, it is critical that you continue to improve to a point where you can be physically active without pain if you hope to return to skiing.

You can return to skiing, but...

When they return to the slopes, some people say that they feel like their previously-injured knee might pop, or lock up on them. That's why it's important to have your doctor test your knee strength and give you the green light before heading to the hill. Consider trying your knee at an indoor skiing facility to see if it can take the wear and tear before you commit to a day on the slopes.

Some people simply don't feel like their knees have the strength to support them skiing after a dislocation injury, but they are able to make the transition to snowboarding, which holds the knee in a different position, and places different stresses on the knee than skiing does.

Making your return

A knee dislocation can be scary and painful. But if you're wondering if you can ski again after a knee dislocation, the good news is you can, but only after you recover, build up your strength, and return to the slopes with more awareness of your knees.

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