Case study : skiing after a tibial plateau fracture
John Primrose was skiing again after a tibia plateau fracture thanks to the Ski Mojo. In this case study, he tells us about his accident, how he found out about the Ski Mojo and how it changed his skiing:
An awkward fall in Val Thorens
John was in Les 3 Vallées at Easter 2018 with his youngest son when he had an awkward fall: “I am a keen and frequent skier. I may not excel in technique, but I can get down most things. So I’d love to say I was on the Grand Couloir, but the reality is it was a green run in the middle of Val Thorens (albeit in bad weather going back to the apartment)”.
Something was very badly wrong
John is a surgeon by profession, and while he is not an orthopaedic surgeon, he knew immediately he needed to find one urgently: “I knew things were not right immediately: if the knee bends the opposite way to normal then there’s something very badly wrong!”
Tibial Plateau Fracture
The medical centre confirmed that John had a tibial plateau fracture – a fracture of the lower part of the knee joint: “One of the advantages of my job is that I knew who to call and sending X-rays by iPhone was simple. The advice back was to find a ‘knee specialist’ quickly and just get home. While there are excellent knee surgical services in France, none are near Les 3 Vallées”.
“A lot of metalwork”
Getting back to the UK in a long leg plaster, even with insurance, is not easy. Despite travelling with BA and being a longstanding Executive Club member, John found them unhelpful.
In the end, he flew back to the UK across three seats on an EasyJet flight, with an accompanying nurse paid for by the insurance company.
“I went to my own hospital and my (skiing) colleague orthopaedic surgeon put the knee back together with the help of a lot of metalwork. I was back at work a few days later”.
“Skiing was not optional”
“One of my contentions to anyone who would listen was that skiing in the future was not optional!” John told us. In fact he was back on the slopes by the first week of December in the same year.
“Possibly it was too early and it was in reality not a great experience, nor was the following trip, mainly due to pain”.
At one of John’s clinic visits a colleague suggested he tried the Ski Mojo, which he had heard of but not seen.
“Looking at the website it seemed a very reasonable concept and ordered one without much more thought. Setting up the Ski Mojo takes a bit of time. It’s best to do it well before you go out skiing. I never worked out how to fit the optional waist strap, but this is only really required if there’s substantial walking before skiing”.
John was delighted with the Ski Mojo:
“Skiing with the Ski Mojo engaged was, frankly, transformational. It pretty much allowed me to get back straightaway to doing the skiing I’d normally do (with the exception of the blacks, which I avoided). I did get back to blacks in 2019/20, although after my third trip that season the knee got a bit sore. Looking at SkiTracks however, I was managing about 50km and 9000m descent daily”.
“Takes the weight off my knees”
John is very positive about the help the Ski Mojo offers: “From my perspective, the Ski Mojo takes weight off the knees sufficiently to reduce the stress on the joints. You simply don’t realise that skiing is an impact sport until your knee is sore, and then every judder hurts”.
“I strongly recommend the Ski Mojo”
“The Ski Mojo means that someone with a knee that is functional in normal circumstances, but painful after or during exercise – due to a joint fracture, torn ligament or meniscus injury – can get back to fairly normal skiing and I’d strongly recommend it”.
Looking forward to 2021/22
Like all of us, John hasn’t skied since the pandemic arrived a year ago, but he is looking forward to the 2021/22 season.
“An enforced year away from the slopes may not be such a bad thing from my knee’s point of view, although otherwise it’s been extremely frustrating. The joint is continuing to improve and whether in the long term I will need the Ski Mojo is uncertain. However, it’s reassuring to have it, and to know that even if the knee did not improve substantially I can still ski pretty normally thanks to the Ski Mojo”.