Problems following hip surgery

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Problems following hip surgery

Postby jimanweller » Fri Apr 02, 2004 11:26 pm

Two years ago I had a hip replacement procedure done. It has been successful from a medical standpoint but disastrous from a skiing standpoint. I absolutely cannot seem to tip my rt ski (the repaired side) to any kind of a useful angle. I had a custom footbed made and cants put under both bindings per the boot fitter. Going the other way, i.e. tipping the left ski for a left turn is no problem. In fact turning left feels so good compared to a rt turn that I've gotten into the bad habit of parkling in it. Any suggestions to overcome this problem will be greatly appreciated . Btw as far as I know there are no pmts trained insructors at my home area, Mt Bachelor in Oregon.
jimanweller
 

Postby tommy » Sun Apr 04, 2004 1:07 pm

Jim,

I'm not an instructor nor boot fitter, but since I've had problems with my right turns as well, I'm just curious:

First of all, is it because of pain you can't tip your RT ski (I'm assuming you are not able to tip it to the little toe edge) ?

What about standing without skis & boots: are you able to stand on your left foot and tip the right to it's little toe edge ? There's very little hip action when doing this on the floor, it seems to be more about flexibility of the ankle.

In some other thread there's been some discussion regarding the initial difficulty to tip the free fot to LTE, and my experience is that with practice, the flexibility of the ankle, and the strength of the muscle(s) that accomplish the tipping will come with practice.

having said that, my problems with right turns were due to my knock-kneed alignment; without cants on my right boot, I was not able to get much edge angles on my free ski in right turns. It also appears to me that without getting proper alignment, I could not get my hip to "fall down into the turn" in right turns. A 1 degree wedge mitigated the problem considerably, but I still have to focus more on my right turns, particularly not to rotate with the turn.

What kind of measurements did your boot fitter take ? I ask this because before finding PMTS, I had some custom alignment done by a local well respected shop, but it turned out that it wasn't very accurate to my needs. The alignment process was nowhere as elaborate as the PMTS alignment.

The alignment done by Harald is a quite lenghty operation, at least 1h, with many different measurements taken + on snow evaluation. After having been aligned by Harald, my balance and general skiing ability has improved a lot.

Cheers,
Tommy
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Postby Jimanweller » Sun Apr 04, 2004 9:47 pm

Tommy, thanks for your reply.
There's no discomfort at all in that hip and without skis I can tip that foot/leg easily. While actually skiing, however, I can't seem to. The strange thing is before the surgery I could do it easily. I haven't had an accurate alignment done and I'm not about to travel to Colo to have it done, so I'll make do with my present equipment. I think what I'm beginning to realise is that my problem is a mental block. So I'm just going to have to keep working on it and as they say "Just do it".
Went skiing Fri. ( the mtn still has a snow depth at the base of 120 in) and the only way I could do a decent rt turn was to displace my left ski laterally to get it on edge while a left turn was done the pmts way, so you could say I was 50% pmts and 50% traditional.
Jimanweller
 

Postby tommy » Sun Apr 04, 2004 10:59 pm

Jim,

one thing that's easy to do yourself without involving any boot fitter is to experiment a bit with canting. I've played a bit with modifying the "original" alignment done by Harald, by adding a "wedge" under the heel of my right boot to increase the outwards tilt. What I did was to cut a credit card in half, along the long side, and used duct tape to stick the half under the inside of my right boot heel. If the card is about 1mm thick on the inside of the heel, you'll get about 1 degree additional tilt towards outside. It made a huge difference for my right turns, allowing me to tilt much more easily to the LTE.

Just a word of warning: using wedges will change the interface between your boot and binding, so while you might want to try this, you should be aware that the binding might no longer work as designed. having said that, I've not noticed any problems with having the wedge, my bindings have released when they should.

Cheers,
Tommy
tommy
 
Posts: 264
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2004 9:27 am
Location: Waxholm, Stockholm Archipelago, Sweden

I'm not a bootfitter or expert either.

Postby JimR » Wed Apr 07, 2004 6:48 pm

I can't wait for someone knowledgeable to chime in. Let me understand. You don't have any problem getting the weight off of the right ski and lifting the foot (or at least the heel) and balancing on the left (stance) ski, you just can't seem to tip that free foot while it's floating along?

If you are standing still with your skis on (and using poles or friends or something to help with balance), can you pick up your right ski and tip it statically, just like you said you could when you weren't skiing. The tipping when not skiing, was that with your boots on?

I really don't have a clue, but it seems that if you try to establish a single step progression from the situation where you CAN tip that foot, maybe you can identify at what point you can't. Most of the time when I "think" I am having trouble tipping, I am actually not balanced and didn't get my weight off the free foot (and therefore it ain't free to tip).

Also, I had a ruptured disk that caused a large loss of strength in my right calf a few years ago, and was amazed how long it took me (55 years old) to regain that strength. You may still be building back up, and have the strength to tip but not when the weight of the ski is added in. Just thoughts.
JimR
 

Postby Jimanweller » Wed Apr 07, 2004 10:04 pm

JimR-- I think you hit on something when youmentioned balance. Looking back to an earlier post I mentioned that I tend to park on a left turn because it feels so much better then the rt. Because of that often my wt settles back and I'm off balance to the rear. Then, although I can pick up the rt ski, I can't adequately tip it. So it souunds like my problems have nothing to do with the hip surgery, except that I didn't have this problem prior to it. Also, I know what you mean about regaining strengh, but I worked hard last summer and fall to get the strengh back and not have a muscle imbalance. Maybe it easn't enough.
Standing still I can pick up the rt ski and tip it easily to the LTE. It's just while moving that the difficulty arises. I'm going to cocentrate on keeping wt no further back then the arch and to be ready for a rt turn before the left turn progresses too far.
Jimanweller
 

A thought for a drill

Postby JimR » Fri Apr 09, 2004 8:03 pm

In his books, Harald highly recommends "garlands" as a way to repetitively drill. Maybe a "back to fundamentals" drill where you do garlands of tipping to right LTE would get the muscle patterns started.

Just release down the hill, then tip and edge right, release, tip and edge right, release, tip and edge right, stop at edge of trail before hitting tree. That way you never go into left turn mode and can just focus on right turn movements.

By the way, my compliments on getting back to skiing after hip replacement. I believe I would find that very intimidating.
JimR
 

Postby Harald » Fri Apr 09, 2004 9:22 pm

Jim, I sympathize with your predicament. My first step would be to do a complete assessment of your alignment, tracking and range of motion. The next step would be to check your strength. Testing for co-contraction and balance with exercises would be the final step. I think with these measures we could find out what is holding you up from a complete skiing recover.

I know you said you had alignment and footbeds, but we often find from customers that visit us from around the country that this doesn?t always mean it is done correctly. We do most of the alignment fine tuning by watching skiers on snow. I am sure we can find a solution to your problem.

Diana and I will be at Mt Hood most of June. We will be offering a summer camp on Mt Hood. I?ll announce further details as they develop.
Harald
 


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