View Full Version : Skiing/Snowboarding

12-16-2008, 08:05 PM
Okay, based on the title of the thread I'm sure you all know what I'm going to ask lol.

When do you think I'd be cleared to go skiing or snowboarding? I know that's probably not something I should even be considering to do because I'm not even a full year post-op, but today every student who made the honor roll at my school got a one-day free pass to a ski-resort, which I thought was totally awesome until I realized that there's probably no way at all I can go. I'm assuming that eventually I'd be able to go,though, right?

I know when you learn how to snowboard you fall all the time, so can that actually damage the fusion even years after it's solid? I guess there's always the chance something could happen with anything, though. Anyway.

Has anyone here gone skiing/snowboarding after surgery? Would appreciate any feedback. Thanks! =]

12-16-2008, 08:25 PM
Nicole, is there some reason why you can't ask your surgeon this question?

The surgeon is the only person you should be asking this of.

Our surgeon's assistant handles his email. She asks him my questions and usually get back to me the same day or next day.

You could also call the surgeon.

12-16-2008, 08:42 PM
Well, to be completely honest, my surgeon actually decided to leave the practice (without telling anyone, I don't know what happened) so I am going to see a new doctor within that practice in January. I will definitely ask him then, I just wanted to kind of see what other people's experiences were to kind of get a general idea of what he may say until then since I would feel a little uncomfortable calling or emailing him beforehand since I haven't met him yet. But, thanks for the quick response!

12-16-2008, 08:51 PM
Nicole, I think you have options.

You can call the office and find out who is taking over your case. Then email/call that person.

You can ask the office if you should be chasing down your surgeon and asking him this question.

Can you ask your parents to help you with this? I wouldn't expect my daughter to be handling this by herself even if she was your age.

At your last visit, didn't your surgeon talk about what restrictions you were to follow?

BTW, my daughter was fused eight days after you were and I can tell you exactly what our surgeon would say. But I'm not going to share that because it is potentially irrelevant to your situation.

Good luck.

12-16-2008, 09:36 PM
Okay, as you suggested, I think I am just going to send an email even though I haven't officially met my new doctor yet. I do wish I could get in contact with the doctor who actually performed my surgery, but at the moment I have no way of doing so because supposedly when he left the practice he didn't give any notice ahead of time and left on...odd terms. But like I said, I guess I will just send an email. I thought it would be a bit awkward, but I can see your point in the sense that no one can answer the question all too well because each person is different and has a different recovery/situation.

Yes, my surgeon did discuss restrictions with me, but I didn't particularly ask about this because, well, I've never done it before and it didn't come to mind. Not to mention the fact that it was summer, and I was more concerned with being able to do summer-ish things like beach volleyball (which was a no lol).

And I did talk to my parents. They don't really have a clue, but based on common sense think that I probably won't be cleared to snowboard anytime soon (which I also think will probably happen). I was just basically wondering when a majority of people are cleared to do this specific activity, considering I do think it can be risky with falls and everything. I'd like to think that at least at some point I'd be able to snowboard haha.

But, I will find out soon and ask him. Anyway, thank you! =]

12-17-2008, 05:39 AM

As Sharon suggested, I would ask your surgeon next month, but I understand you wanting to have some idea right now as to whether or not you'll be able to use the pass.

My daughter was in a similar situation after her surgery--everyone who was on the honor roll at least 3 times got a free day at our local amusement park. Jamie's doctor had already told her no amusement parks until she was one year post-op. She ended up not being able to use the pass because by the time she was one year post-op, the park was closed!

You might be surprised. My daughter was very restricted for a full year, but I've read where others were released from all restrictions after six months or so. Don't give away the pass yet. You might be able to use it after your one year mark.

Good luck.

Mary Lou

12-17-2008, 06:24 AM
Yes, my surgeon did discuss restrictions with me, but I didn't particularly ask about this because, well, I've never done it before and it didn't come to mind. Not to mention the fact that it was summer, and I was more concerned with being able to do summer-ish things like beach volleyball (which was a no lol).

I guess all surgeons are different. At the six-week appointment, we were told which restrictions were going to be lifted and when. There was no guesswork or having to ask about individual activities though I did ask specifically about riding. But even that got lumped into the "everything except bungee jumping." Everything means everything.

But different cases might require different restriction patterns I guess. I don't know.

And I did talk to my parents.

Ah, sorry I was unclear. I meant ask your parents to call the office and get the procedure they are following for patients of the surgeon who left. I would not have my daughters calling the office and figuring this out. I did not mean ask your parents' opinion on the restrictions (unless they are orthopedic surgeons who work on spines).

Good luck. I would not rule out being able to go but you'll have to ask.

12-25-2008, 12:15 AM
So, have you used the pass yet?
Of course you know all us mom's would say no. It's scary to think all that you go through, and then potentially you can wind up in the same spot because you couldn't wait.
I remember the first time I went on a roller coaster after my surgery, I was happy my mom wasn't there, it was sooo fun. Now years later, I get motion sickness on them, go figure.
Anyway, I know it's hard to wait a year and watch your friends have all the fun. But it is only one season to sit out. Next year, take it slowly, some have found their balance to be slightly different after a fusion. And in five years you'll barely remember that winter you didn't get to go.

12-26-2008, 05:42 PM
I'd like to ask the question a different way.

Is there anyone out there (adolescent or adult) with rods who goes downhill skiing or snowboarding? You don't have to be specific and tell us when or if you were cleared by your surgeon or how long post op you actually resumed skiing/snowboarding.

I'd just like to know if anyone does it. Thanks!

12-27-2008, 03:55 AM
The skiing question, a tough one for me.

Being a 47 year skier, I had to respond to this. I have been cleared to go skiing by my surgeon, however he stated that I could crack my fusions, and break hardware. No more air, no extreme g forces, and no velocity. He stated I could withstand a low slow speed fall. He also knows about my competitive extreme skiing history, and our high cliffs out here.

Skiers fall less than boarders. Sorry guys but it is the truth. Boarding is a great sport and requires good balance however, the fact that both feet are attached(with non releasing bindings) and not having poles that skiers use for balance, means more falling.

I will go skiing here soon, and it will be a low speed, no falls allowed kind of thing. You also have to worry about someone hitting you. It will be ok as long as it is on a low impact level. A violent crash is out of the question and I've had a few of those before surgery. LOL

I was cleared for skiing due to having BMP done to me. It reduces fusion time and my surgeon told me I was fused at 6 months.

In your case, you might want to scrap this season and wait till next season after you talk to your surgeon. Slamming down on the ice or having someone plow into you right now is not a good idea.

Its so hard to say what's ok and what's not ok as far as activities are concerned. Its just so much wiser to have a reserved approach and think about how serious your surgery was.

I'm assuming your from NJ being operated on down in New Brunswick. I grew up in Wayne,NJ and skied at Great Gorge which is now called Mountain Creek from 1965 to 1979. I moved to Lake Tahoe for skiing in 1980 and I'm still here.

Suzy has gone skiing, maybe she will call me up and say lets go. It would have to be a short day since my upper muscles are a little funky. My "bear traps' are calming down but they are still there, otherwise I'm doing great.


12-28-2008, 12:50 AM
I had my surgery when I was 13. In march. I was snowboarding by that Christmas break.

BUT I had seen my doctor and he had cleared me. (even though I had been told in march that I would probably have to wait 2 years after surgery)

So there is hope, but you really need to have an xray done and you doctors ok.

And I did fall, a lot, as balancing on the board felt different, but I didn't have any damage from that other than a few bruises.

I went skiing the next year, and had no problems either.


12-31-2008, 11:20 AM
Ok, I know this isn't skiing/snow boarding, but we went sledding on the weekend using a saucer and now my neck has been hurting. I think I bent it back too much when the saucer would turn and I'd go down backwards, I'd lay back and look up. When we go again I think I'll have to remember not to do that.
By the way, my daughter, who has growth rods/staples, thought it would be fun to bring the inner tube. I told her to wait a year, I didn't think her doctor would like to see all our hard work to get her straight to go in one bounce. So, she laughed as her brother faceplanted on the steep runs and wnd we went down the smaller ones.

01-02-2009, 04:58 PM
It is different for everyone and all cases are different, but i asked at my previous appointment, and it was a let down, but i wasnt surprised lol. I have to wait for my year like many others, that may be what will happen to you. I know how hard it can be not being able to do things because of the surgery because i missed my last junior high year of playing volleyball, and wasnt to happy about it lol. But you just have to remind yourself that what your giving up has its good points to. I mean you are straightened out now and doing well, so thats always something to remember when your upset, because your beautiful and straight now! yay!

Time flys when your having fun, or recovering.

01-03-2009, 02:59 AM
I'd like to ask the question a different way.

Is there anyone out there (adolescent or adult) with rods who goes downhill skiing or snowboarding? You don't have to be specific and tell us when or if you were cleared by your surgeon or how long post op you actually resumed skiing/snowboarding.

I'd just like to know if anyone does it. Thanks!

Malka ...

I'll be wakeboarding soon (pretty close, and actually more impact) at < 1 year post op. Will report back ;-).

Oh ... and I'm WAY cleared by my surgeon. Have been off restriction from almost everything from 4 months.


01-04-2009, 02:06 PM
I just got back from my first post-surgery ski trip. I felt great - my back didn't bother me at all. Of course, I was cleared by my doctor first!

Good luck!

01-04-2009, 05:10 PM

Wakeboarding sounds fun. We used to do quite a bit of high speed tubing back when I had my boats years ago. Of course we would tie 2 waterski ropes together and with that extra length the speed that was achieved upon be swung was insane. Of course the activites I did in my past were not considered normal by any means. When you go, try to be careful.

Thats good news on the ski trip. Do we get a report? Where did you go?


01-04-2009, 08:05 PM
We just went up to New Hampshire, and got in 3 solid days. I'll probably be up there every weekend for the rest of the season. I haven't fallen yet, though, and that will be the real test!

01-05-2009, 12:28 AM

Yrs ago, I used to ski Stowe,Smuggs,Killington and Pico quite a bit. Never went skiing in NH or Maine.

"Break a leg" is a well-known saying in theatre which means "good luck". It is typically said to actors before they go out onto stage to perform.

Should we use the term,"break a rod" for our sports activites?

Be careful !!!


01-11-2009, 04:45 PM
Wow, haha, this thread got quite a lot of posts.

Okay, well, I saw my surgeon on Friday. He officially lifted nearly all of my restrictions except skydiving (like I'd do that anyway! ha!), trampolines, tumbling/rolling (which I already figured out I can't do in dance lol), and unfortunately snowboarding and skiing for this season at least. Next winter he said it wouldn't be a problem, though he did say of the two he would prefer that I went skiing and that I take it very easy. I can understand why, though, and I don't mind waiting because it's only one winter. I don't want to screw up my fusion considering I'm not even a full year post-op.

Ed, yup, I am from Jersey. I loveee Mountain Creek haha, both winter and summer. Though I must say that the water during the summer is absolutely freezing!! At the waterpark, you can jump off this "cliff" into the pool and I nearly went into shock when I landed in the water! The scary thing is, I've actually seen people go into shock and have to be rescued by the lifeguards. Not really something I'm going to try again...

Thanks for all the replies and everything!

01-21-2009, 11:49 PM
Hey, I just wanted to say my two sense.
Alright. I have snowboarded for four years. I had surgery when I was 13, and learned to snowboard when I was 16. (It wasn't an option when I was younger, couldn't afford it) My parents were crazy protective (like most rents are). I'm now 20, almost 21, and this past season they didn't even say two things about me snowboarding which was awesome... and for the first season.. I haven't gotten hurt (knock on wood). When I got told I could snowboard if I followed their rules... A ski protective back brace (made me look like an armadillo), wrist braces, butt pads, helmet, etc....
It's is tons of fun. Take your time and enjoy yourself. Know your limits.

01-22-2009, 07:49 AM
Nicole, I'm glad most of the restrictions have been lifted for you and I hope next season is a great season of snow on the slopes for your return! I see you can't tumble, but how is dance going otherwise? Do you feel you are able to get into the positions that you need to? Do you feel comfortable with it yet?

01-23-2009, 11:33 PM
Lol, that made me laugh a little. Yeah, I could totally see my parents being the exact same way unfortunately lol. Especially if I went snowboarding, since I am under the impression that that's more harsh than skiing.

jillw- Thanks! Yeah, I mean, I've been feeling really good aside from just getting sore really easily. I'm sore a lot of the time actually, but I've just kind of gotten used to it where it doesn't phase me anymore. I feel like I've gotten back into the swing of things fairly well, though I do feel a little...disadvantaged as far as flexibility goes. All I can say is thank goodness my legs are flexible lol. Certain things are hard for me, like anything involving body rolls and just arching the back (I never realized how much you have to arch your back in dance until I realized I couldn't do it). Which makes hip-hop a little hard, but that's not exactly my "forte" in dance...I do jazz, ballet, and pointe. It's a little frustrating, but nonetheless, I'm still having a great time and sometimes don't even feel like I had surgery. And on the plus side, my perfect posture is great for ballet/pointe.

01-24-2009, 02:33 PM
I'm sorry to hear you get sore easily and often feel sore. I hope that with the upcoming one year mark and beyond you'll have even more and more of those days where you don't feel like you had the surgery.

It's true there is a lot of back arching and even lateral bending in dance! I'd have to imagine it impacts balance a little also not being able to arch? OVerall it sounds like you are doing a great job compensating! I've followed your progress over the years (back when your mom posted) and have been routing for you. My daughter is only beginning her scoliosis journey, but she also loves to dance. She started competitive dance last year for tap and jazz and may pick up ballet next year (so that she can compete lyrical in the future). Given her age, there is a good chance she will go on to require fusion surgery also and I've wondered how this would impact her. Tap would probably be less affected than the others...

Anyway, thanks for sharing with us!

01-24-2009, 03:00 PM
jillw- Thanks, and yeah, I'm sure that the soreness will continue to improve. It does impact balance a little bit, but yeah, I am able to compensate for it fairly well. My teacher understands and if a routine has, like, backbends or something she has a few people (including myself) do something else at the same time so it's not obvious that I can't do it haha.

One thing, though. Do you have me confused with someone else lol, because I'm not aware that my mom has posted on here (and if she has, this is news to me haha)?

With your daughter, even if fusion may be down the line for her, dance is especially great for building up strength and flexibility in her muscles, particularly those of her back. And she will get back into dancing afterwards, as frustrating as it may seem at first. Yeah, tap definitely won't be affected all that much. Ballet a little, but not too much because it generally enforces perfect posture with a lot of the movements. Lyrical could be a little bit affected (as can jazz), but only by arching the back, and a routine could be modified to avoid that. I think the hardest one to get back into might be hip-hop. I don't actually do hip-hop (because honestly, I look a bit ridiculous doing it lol). I really hope that your daughter will be able to avoid fusion, but it's just good to know that she can still dance and everything.

Good luck to you and your daughter!! =]

01-25-2009, 07:54 AM
Interesting, I'm glad the teacher works the routines around you.

You know? I went back and I do have you confused with another. Did you know that there is another Nicole who was a competitive dancer ( i.e. loved dance) who had fusion surgery about a year ago? Well, still, I'm still cheering for you!:)

01-25-2009, 04:43 PM
Yeah. I mean, it's just small things. Like, in jazz my teacher likes to put shoulder rolls in (basically a form of tumbling backwards) and I can't do that anymore so it would be impossible. But it would also look silly if I was the only one not doing it, so she might have another three people not doing it to balance it rather than saying you can't do the whole dance (which wouldn't be fair anyway since we're paying for the classes and recitals are important lol). But I can basically do almost anything else.

And lol, it's okay. Thanks haha! That's ironic...

02-09-2009, 04:34 PM
My situation was a little different, but I was skiing again about 9 months after fusion. I raced XC and my surgery was scheduled around the New England J2 Championships. I went from racing in the VT division 1 state championships, to J2's, and then into surgery 2 weeks later. I was lucky to have a good relationship with my coach, and he came to visit me in the hospital and ended up briefly meeting my surgeon. When pre-season started the next year, he had a good understanding of what I had gone through, and what my restrictions were as far as training.

I never had any problems beyond being a little sore, and have also been Downhill skiing with no issues. I never had any luck snowboarding though, and it was one of the few things I've given up on because of back pain. If you have the option, I would definitly reccomend skiing over boarding.