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Old 03-02-2011, 01:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default AST lvl 1 concerns...

Hey-hey-hey, fellow shredders...

Question: I am about to participate in an AST lvl 1 course this coming weekend. While I am @ an intermediate level (requisite for the AST lvl 1)I tore my ACL 2 weeks ago - seriousness unknown (I'm convinced - based upon my own deduction - that it is a mere tear, partial). I desperately am wanting to take part in this course - it is likely that I will. My main concern is whether I will end up ultimately riding myself off, or someone else (if my reflexes have indeed been impeded).

Cliffs:
Injured - tore ACL
Wanting to partake in AST lvl 1 2 weeks afterwards
Lots of hiking (snowshoeing, deep powder (a first))
Inner backcountry will be accessed
Unsure whether participation is a good/bad idea

NB: Regardless of the injury, I am fine - back to the gym (lifting/cardio (not high impact, e.g. eliptical, etc), no longer walking like the Tin-man from Oz... Snowboarding is, so-so... still, testing the waters.


I am torn (nopunintended). This is the last course for the season, also, the course cost is at an all time low.

I just started snowboarding this season, I have progressed rapidly... While I believe that I have the skills/mileage, I am thinking that the injury might ultimately be an issue. Just looking for some expert advice, from others who have partaken in an AST lvl 1 course to further weigh the pros and cons.

Input is greatly appreciated, since it was the above query which lead to my signage, upon this forum.

Cheers!
Schmoz
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would try it. My group earlier this year did a fair amount of skinning the second day and hardly any the first. I talked to other groups and some hardly went out since most people were unfamiliar with skinning and riding in the backcountry. I would try it and let the organizers know of your injury. Tell them you feel good but wanted to be put in a group that doesn't move as fast as a more advanced group, when it comes to skinning would move.
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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^^^Solid advice. Talk to the organizers of this and get what their thoughts are. You don't want to do this if you are going to be uncomfortable and/or in pain most of the time. You just don't.

That said, the overall course does not have to be that demanding. So you can probably pull this off. The thing is to be sure you talk with the people running the show so that they know your situation.

For every avy course, there are instructors who keep the terrain traveled to a minimum and do not do big tours. There are also others who love to take the group out on a decent sized tour and get into real terrain. You still learn the same things, so make sure you are in a group of the former if you go for it.
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The first step is to get your ass to the doctor. ACL injuries are nothing to mess with. You didn't really give any details on your knee. How is it? You simply said that you think you've suffered a small tear. The ACL is one knee injury that you absolutely have to let heal 100% or you're putting yourself at risk of a devastating knee injury. I rode earlier this year on a partially torn MCL, but only after going to the doctor and confirming that there was little risk of injuring it worse through riding.

One thing is for sure, you don't want to go out there and push it and end up with a completely torn ACL and on the operating table. ACL rehab is the SUCK!
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Firstly, cheers snowvols,killclimbz and linvillegeorge!I greatly appreciate your input, re. this matter!

Re. snowvolz: I managed to get in touch with the co-ordinator and notified him of my injury. This was a great suggestion, as originally I was not going to mention my 'situation', as I did not want to be pulled from the course. However, he has provided me w/ some semblance of peace of mind, although his response was rather ambiguous.

Re. killclimbz: In complete agreement. After speaking with the co-ordinator, he didn't say 'no'... or 'bad idea'... which is somewhat heartening. I'm actually going to speak with him, as I have only corresponded via email - to have a mapped out idea of terrain we'll be exploring.

Re. linvillegorge: Similar to your own vehemence, my mates were/are all for a doctor's professional diagnosis. Thing being, I cannot reconcile my differences, w/ the idea of forking out dollars/cents that could be better spent elsewhere. Then again, I know- I know, it's my 'knee'... no laughing matter.. (although when it happened, my mates thought it laughable - then again, scorpion, down a bowl... kind-of-funny-if-no-serious-harm-evidenced).
As for my 'knee' and 'how it is': fine, but for angled movement, SUDDEN, angled movement. It is the inside of my knee that is laced with pain. Is there a 'clicking', yeah... 'stiffness', you betcha... is it debilitating @ this stage... no.
W/ the 'slap-in-the-face' of reality re. doctor visit, I am actually going to 'sack-up' and make one to the local doc. here in Whistler... Before the clinic. I had a heinous accident, many moons ago... not going back to 'vegetable-status'...

Appreciate the REALITY CHECK guys!
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schmoz View Post
Firstly, cheers snowvols,killclimbz and linvillegeorge!I greatly appreciate your input, re. this matter!

Re. snowvolz: I managed to get in touch with the co-ordinator and notified him of my injury. This was a great suggestion, as originally I was not going to mention my 'situation', as I did not want to be pulled from the course. However, he has provided me w/ some semblance of peace of mind, although his response was rather ambiguous.

Re. killclimbz: In complete agreement. After speaking with the co-ordinator, he didn't say 'no'... or 'bad idea'... which is somewhat heartening. I'm actually going to speak with him, as I have only corresponded via email - to have a mapped out idea of terrain we'll be exploring.

Re. linvillegorge: Similar to your own vehemence, my mates were/are all for a doctor's professional diagnosis. Thing being, I cannot reconcile my differences, w/ the idea of forking out dollars/cents that could be better spent elsewhere. Then again, I know- I know, it's my 'knee'... no laughing matter.. (although when it happened, my mates thought it laughable - then again, scorpion, down a bowl... kind-of-funny-if-no-serious-harm-evidenced).
As for my 'knee' and 'how it is': fine, but for angled movement, SUDDEN, angled movement. It is the inside of my knee that is laced with pain. Is there a 'clicking', yeah... 'stiffness', you betcha... is it debilitating @ this stage... no.
W/ the 'slap-in-the-face' of reality re. doctor visit, I am actually going to 'sack-up' and make one to the local doc. here in Whistler... Before the clinic. I had a heinous accident, many moons ago... not going back to 'vegetable-status'...

Appreciate the REALITY CHECK guys!
What you described are classic symptoms of an MCL injury. The MCL is the ligament that runs down the inside of your knee.

Go take the course and just take it easy and don't push yourself too hard.

I still recommend getting it checked out though. The big concern with MCL injuries isn't the MCL itself, it's making sure you didn't do any additional damage during the injury. The most common is also tearing the meniscus. There can sometimes also be damage to the ACL, but when I tore my MCL I called my fiance's dad who is a doctor and described my symptoms and he immediately said it's definitely the MCL, but to go get it checked out just to make sure no damage was done to the meniscus.

Oh, and one last thing, don't even fuck with going around to a general or family doctor. They know just enough about stuff like this to be dangerous. The smart ones will refer you to a specialist or sports medicine doctor, the dumb ones will tell you it's fine or just give you pain killers and tell you to take it easy. Go directly to a specialist or sports medicine doctor. They'll put you through a short battery of tests and tell you exactly what's going on. I went to a sports medicine doctor and was in and out in half an hour. The benefit of a sports medicine doctor is also that he realizes that telling you not to do any athletic activities isn't going to happen. He'll be able to tell you what level of activity you can do in the meantime while you heal.

Last edited by linvillegorge; 03-03-2011 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 03-03-2011, 03:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linvillegorge View Post
What you described are classic symptoms of an MCL injury. The MCL is the ligament that runs down the inside of your knee.

Go take the course and just take it easy and don't push yourself too hard.

I still recommend getting it checked out though. The big concern with MCL injuries isn't the MCL itself, it's making sure you didn't do any additional damage during the injury. The most common is also tearing the meniscus. There can sometimes also be damage to the ACL, but when I tore my MCL I called my fiance's dad who is a doctor and described my symptoms and he immediately said it's definitely the MCL, but to go get it checked out just to make sure no damage was done to the meniscus.

Oh, and one last thing, don't even fuck with going around to a general or family doctor. They know just enough about stuff like this to be dangerous. The smart ones will refer you to a specialist or sports medicine doctor, the dumb ones will tell you it's fine or just give you pain killers and tell you to take it easy. Go directly to a specialist or sports medicine doctor. They'll put you through a short battery of tests and tell you exactly what's going on. I went to a sports medicine doctor and was in and out in half an hour. The benefit of a sports medicine doctor is also that he realizes that telling you not to do any athletic activities isn't going to happen. He'll be able to tell you what level of activity you can do in the meantime while you heal.
See, I was playing w/ this idea: that I tore my MCL and not my ACL... It's that blasted 'pop' that I heard/felt upon impact that has lead me to believe otherwise [originally thought I dislocated my knee]. I'll admit though, I'm notorious for self-diagnosis, often for-the-win or just epic-fail.

I'm aware that there is a 'popping' sensation, when injuring one's ACL/meniscus... I, 'aware-d' myself plenty, upon damaging my knee, out of paranoia...

To point this internal-conflict towards an end, I'm arranging an appointment w/ a sports medicine doctor in town. Spoke w/ the receptionist, re. experiences w/ winter sports related injuries, and was informed that both doctors have been w/ the practice for 2 - 3 decades. I also would imagine, that, based upon the clinics proximity to the ski hill here in Whistler... they'd be familiar with something as 'commonplace' as my own... (ACL/MCL/Meniscus, etc]

Based upon what I know thus far, I sure as hell hope it's my MCL... and NOT my ACL... or even the meniscus for that matter.

- I'm going ahead w/ the AST Lvl 1 course. There's 'theory' and then there is 'field' work. How hard can that be?
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Old 03-07-2011, 05:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thought to check back in re. this matter:

Checked in with a sports medicine doc.; a grade 3 MCL tear and damage to the medial meniscus. Stoked upon hearing the above, considering I assumed the worse!

Went ahead w/ the AST Course and it was AMAZING! Snow shoeing... up 30 - 40, sometimes 50 degree inclines - taxing - 45 minutes here and there. Some SICK lines in some DEEP, DEEP POW attained. I was cautious, considering my injury, so didn't huck off any cliffs/drops. Two words to sum up my experience: EPIC and EXHAUSTING!!! More so EPIC though.

If I could go back, would I do it again? SURE WOULD! Gearing up for a level 2 AST course!!!!!! Also, BC tour w/in the next two weeks! Now looking into investing in a splitboard and skins (snowshoeing... turned my legs to jelly...)

Cheers, once again for input of members!
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