Steamboat Knee Repair 2021

The view from the infinity pool at Princeton Hot Springs in Buena Vista, Colorado.

Many of you know that I’m an avid snowboarder.  Not many folks know that I started snowboarding around the time that Burton was becoming a national brand.  My first snowboard was a giant K2 HC169 Darkstar version.  (It had an awesome graphic of a black hole on the top of the deck and a Grateful Dead lightning bolt big on the bottom.)  

I think I paid less than $400 for the board and bindings.  I used Sorel snow boots with cardboard on the heels.  

Yes, I think I was around 25 years old when this purchase went down.

Now that I have a real job, I can afford much better equipment.  My snowboard is an aggressive downhill stick that keeps me on pace with all my badass ski buddies.

Over time, my back leg would occasionally get a pain in the knee from a big turn.  Most often this turn saved me from a tree, tree well, or going off a drop bigger than my ego.  It would hurt, but nothing I was worried about.

A month ago I was a Princeton Hot Springs in Buena Vista.  (I highly recommend this stop.)  Having been on a long camping trip prior, I had bags of trash to get rid of.  Kristen and I found the dumpster behind the lodge, in an enclosed area that was hard to get the bags into. So I backed my pickup to the loading dock.

The loading dock was taller than my tailgate by about 3 feet.  Kristen watching, I decided to leap up onto the dock so she could see how spry I still am.  When I landed, which was a pretty good stick, I felt a pain in my knee and I knew something was really wrong.

It took me five days to go to the doctor, about the time my knee was the size of a melon.  It didn’t take long and I went from urgent care to MRI.  The result?  A torn quad tendon.  (It’s the one that all your quad muscles attach to above the knee cap.)  A few days later I was in surgery.

Steamboat Orthopedic and Spine Institute has been the best care.  They cared for all the insurance paperwork, my brace, and other equipment, and made sure all my questions were answered.  People come from all over for their care.  I’m stoked I live nearby.

So, the point of this story is that everyone who has had knee surgery and sees my brace wants to tell war stories.  It’s absolutely amazing.  I’m the type of guy trying to get this behind me and I’m ending up being an expert in knee replacements and ACL repairs.

In this ski town, there are plenty of badasses who can relate to my injury.  I’m just keeping my head down so no one knows I’m a gimp.  I love Steamboat folks for keeping me real and giving me stories from their journeys.

In the end, my wife didn’t get impressed by my semi-youthful leap.  She is absolutely enjoying hearing me tell the story and the reaction our friends give when they hear it!



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