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Tele knees

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  • Tele knees

    Just had my knee scoped two weeks ago. Pretty minor surgery but there was lots of stuff in there to clean out and a tear inside to sew up.

    I’m starting to be able to bend it and when I get up from sitting it sometimes clicks. never had that before. I’ve never had issues telemarking or biking. I couldn’t walk or hike which is why I got the procedure done. Hoping to be ‘better’ than before. Now I’m a little nervous that I may have compromised my tele skiing.

    How ‘bout you all? Guessing knee work is pretty common among our group. Stories to encourage me, or to raise my concern?

  • #2
    I got a scope 6 years ago with almost exactly the same circumstances as you described.

    My clicker started early and I still get the click on occasion - especially when it's hurting. That's not often and otherwise it's good.

    I actually started telemarking after the surgery. Very few issues. I think biking has helped a lot.

    I wouldn't be concerned - just do better on the rehab than I did


    • #3
      Well, I haven't had any knee work, but I would occasionally get a "click" sound in my knee, and once in a while my right knee would lock up with mild pain. With minor knee movement it usually "unlocked" in an hour or so.
      Saw an Orthopod Doctor once, and he said, wait a few months, probably a piece of Meniscus, got loose. Pain and clicking went away, for now. I did dial things back a bit; I may have quit skiing for a week or so.
      My road bike, has the Speedplay pedals, so a lot of "float"; lateral movement, for knee health. Generally I don't get any knee pain on longer rides. If so I reduce my mileage.
      As for skiing, another idea is if your knee is bothering you on teles, switch over to locked heel for a day or so. Then switch back. And always avoid rock hard moguls, well moguls period. Unless you are 20 y.o.
      Mind you I am quite a bit older than Mr Nicol.


      • #4
        Dumb question, Im in my mid 30s and my knees click when going up or down stairs. No pain what so ever when skiing, walking, or long rides on mtb. Should I get it checked out or worth seeing a doc for? Not sure how many docs tele. From what I read on interwebs its normal as you get older. But could be bad idea to wait another 10 years before seeing doc.


        • #5
          I occasionally feel a pain in the left knee. It's not a "pop" or a "click" but more of a "zing!".

          It happens when hiking or skinning but not on low angle or high angle steps. Only in the mid angle range.

          So, really can't complain.


          • #6

            my wife just asked a doctor friend about her clicking. no blanket answer covers everything...but usually it is coming from the knee cap glitching in the groove that it rides. that can come from any number of things, including but limted to a stretched patellar tendon. Advice was it happens, unless it is painful, its not necessarily a problem. often it will come and go, like if you sit around a lot, or in the morning, it will click for a while till you loosen up.

            personally, i had clicking before my injury in both knees when stiff. and after my injury after the immobile ISA (Ice Sofa Advil) addiction phase, the clicking in that knee was much worse until i started getting flexibility back.

            but if it is bad, even it isn't, talk to your doc. you only get two original knees. they are worth keeping in the best shape you can.


            • #7

              A bit more history... I tore my meniscus about 10 years ago. Couldn't bend my knee (like Cham said) but it stayed for days. MRI showed my knees were in bad shape. Surgeon couldn't get me in for a long time so I started physio while I waited and the physio sorted me out (strengthened areas around my knees, some weighting of the foot to allow the meniscus to settle back into place) so when the surgery came I didn't bother to do it.

              My wife is a physician and her suggestion is don't mess with it until you absolutely have to.

              So the past few years I have been having a hard time walking - I do a lot of bushwacking for trail planning - and I can't backpack anymore (we've moved to bikepacking, which is nice). So despite being able to do the things I love most of the time (tele and mtn bike), I thought it was time to go back to the surgeon so I could add walking to the list!

              In your case, I'd try to leave well enough alone. And now that I have this click, I am wondering if I should have left well enough alone too.


              • #8
                I went 23 years without a left acl until one day 16 years ago, when out trail running, the meniscus just shredded and my knee locked out with too much pain to wait any longer. I had acl replacement with same leg patellar tendon, 70% of meniscus removed, general shaving and polishing aka chondroplasty, and microfracture. The pictures inside my knee looked like white fringe. I was no weight bearing for four weeks, but I worked my ass off in PT and was back on skis teleing on sand dunes at 14 weeks. I had full range of motion and no clicking but the acl graft was loose from the first PT appointment. It is still loose, maybe even gone as a result of hitting a tree four years ago. But maintaining mobility has kept me going. I can still do full depth squats but can not assume the pistol position on the left leg anymore because ROM is not equal to the right and I get pain at the end of ROM. I think at my age I would be a candidate for TKR at this point if I went to see an orthopedist. So I guess I fall into your spouse's line of advice. Mine is not bad enough for me to do anything... yet. I don't want another surgery but time will tell. I can still run, climb, and ski and that's all I need.


                • #9
                  I just want to add, everyone I know who kept skiing resort fixed heel, have had major knee problems, bone on bone. or have now quit skiing altogether. I firmly believe that telemark skiing has saved my knees, to still ski on at the resorts, (well I ski backcountry AT now, but that is soft snow)...
                  Skiing backcountry and even a few trips to Yurp for resort skiing, with fixed heel, I have a relatively soft AT boot. So not too much stress on my knees..


                  • #10
                    I've had clicking in both knees since I was 18. It's worse when getting up after sitting or sleeping, or when my patellar tendons are inflamed. All of the sports I've ever done are very knee-intensive (baseball catcher, football, ice hockey, tennis, squash, badminton, distance running, skiing). I'm in my 40's and have somehow managed to avoid serious knee injury. Part of the reason I switched to telemark in my 20's was to reduce knee risk. I know the data is inconclusive, but in all scenarios except a forward fall I "feel" like I have more degrees of freedom on tele than alpine.

                    If you recently had work done, I'd wait until the swelling is completely gone before deciding this is your new normal. Even if it is, though, I wouldn't worry as long as the click doesn't "catch" or cause pain.


                    • #11
                      Fortunate to have been born with knees for skiing I guess. Have never lost a day to knee soreness or injury. Kept my weight down and consistent exercise are the two prime factors while I think being a veggie for 30yrs can't be ignored. They feel great today. Been so lucky considered my wrestling and ski touring experiences. I've never embraced stretching/yoga so not sure how that fits in.

                      But now days, gonna be more careful. One reason I'm think of bailing on tele because the risk is slightly higher than just leaning to lock-em down and be resolved to the slight decrease in the fun meter. It would suck if I blew out my knee teleskiing at my age to make a point. We shall see and not the first time I've had that evil thought. Main thing is get in or stay on shape to ski those first few days...that when the risk seems highest....or at the end of the season when you're taking more chances.

                      Today I went to an Acupuncturist for the 2nd time ever to deal with some minor issues in my neck from surgery and it seem to have helped. Not sure how or if they can help specifically with chronic knee issues, but they might be worth considering.


                      • #12
                        Valdez Telehead wrote
                        One reason I'm think of bailing on tele because the risk is slightly higher..
                        I am not sure about that. I think one positive aspect to tele skiing , is that you always get a "forward release" in a fall. In the sense, that if you fall forward, your heel always comes up from the ski. Because it's not attached, and you have a bellowed boot.
                        On AT setups, on the other hand, I worry that in a forward fall, you depend on that upward release mechanism at the heel, to free you from the ski. And an AT, pin binding, in a forward, twisting fall, depends for a lateral release at the heel..

                        It sounds crazy, but skiing at higher speed, at a resort, I feel safer on a tele binding as I don't have to worry about a pre-release. I have had an AT binding, pre-release, as I chattered over an icy section, say with my old Dynafit Verticals. Even once with the newer Dynafit Rotation ST, with the rotating toe piece.


                        • #13
                          Believe me i thought a lot about skiing injury in the last 9 months. Before 9 months ago, i never had an injury that stopped me from skiing the next day. but one fall, 3 fractures, and at least 3 partially torn ligaments (2 in knee, at least one in ankle), and i have been thinking about it non-stop as i try and continue to recover.

                          First, there have been several statements about Tele vs Alpine and knees over the long haul (ie slow injury over time). I totally believe Tele is better on your knees than alpine. I always think of it as telemark is tough on your muscles, since you are using your muscles to keep from pancaking. And the position is naturally flexible, so bumps and hits cause you to absorb in you muscles and flex. Alpine is tougher on your joints because you use more skeleton to keep from pancaking. So the bumps and hits go more thru your bones vs tele, and hence joints between bones, with less flexing to absorb. Neither is all of one and none of the other, but the bias adds up over time.

                          And the fall on your face thing is the other way tele is safe than alpine. as long as you fall forward, you should be relatively safe from twists because the level arm folds up and becomes short. But i think this effect can be mitigated to some degree by super active bindings and if your boot/binding bottoms out before knee to ski. How much, who knows? but some.

                          The flip side is quality modern alpine bindings offer better release than any telemark binding and every or almost every AT binding. AT bindings fall all over the map, some are likely really good (shift for example, among others), some are not so good (skimo race bindings). But not matter what they are all alpine bindings and hammer your joints more than tele. Except in bottomless powder.


                          For me, not sure what i am going to do for bindings next spring when i hope i will be able to get in a short spring skiing season. Meidjo 3.0 is my default. But marker squirre might end up being my call, i hope not. I am still a little PTSD over the whole thing and VT's feelings echo mine, i really don't want to have to rehab again. it sucks. it hurts. it sucks. But not sure there is a good answer other than to only XC ski or spend the winter in Baja kiting, or both.


                          • #14

                            is the spring 2021 the first you feel you will be able to ski again?!? What a terribly long haul this has been for you!! Keep up the hard work, I hope you eventually make it back to good!


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jasonq View Post
                              ... not sure there is a good answer other than to only XC ski or spend the winter in Baja kiting, or both.
                              THAT's a good answer. But kiting isn't exactly a sport without knee stresses either. ;-)

                              ain't no turn like tele!