Can You Ski After ACL Surgery?

You cannot ski right after ACL surgery. The typical recovery time for this type of injury is 6 to 9 months, and you need to do all the necessary rehab during that time, or it can take even longer. That means you can’t ski for a while after the surgery.

My name is Christine, and I’m a lifelong skier. I try to get as many ski days as possible every season and keep myself informed of everything related to the sport. I’ve done some research to know what’s involved with ACL surgery. 

This post will examine whether you can ski after ACL surgery. I’ll give you a potential timeline for recovery if you have this injury and provide you with some other helpful information to help you get back on your skis as fast as possible. 

Let’s jump in. 

Key Takeaways

  • You can’t ski after ACL surgery. This doesn’t mean that you can never ski again. It just means you need to fully heal and rehab before you can get back out on the snow or do other athletic activities. 
  • The typical recovery time for ACL surgery is 6 to 9 months, but it can take longer depending on the person and rehab plan. 
  • Typically, if you have to get ACL surgery, your ski season will be over. That’s because the time it takes to heal from this is longer than the average ski season. 

Can You Ski After ACL Surgery? 

Injuries are never fun, and tearing your ACL is one of those injuries that no skier wants to have happen to them. But this injury is relatively common for skiers because of the impact and forces at work when you ski. 

If you tear your ACL, you’ll more than likely get surgery to repair it. The recovery time for the surgery is 6 to 9 months, which means you won’t be able to ski during that time. You won’t be able to do much athletic activity at all. 

That’s bad news to read if you just had ACL surgery and hope to get back in the snow. But it’s really important that you spend time doing all of your rehab so you don’t risk injuring your knee again and being off the snow even longer. 

Some people take even longer than nine months to come back from ACL surgery. It can take a year or more, depending on how your body heals and how good you are with sticking to your rehab plan. 

Always listen to the advice from your doctors when it comes to how long you should avoid skiing and other athletic activities after getting ACL surgery. If you don’t, you can experience setbacks or even permanent damage. 

Fear of Skiing After ACL Surgery

Getting surgery to repair your ACL is no small feat. It’s a severe injury with a lengthy rehab time, and it will be challenging to get back to normal both physically and mentally. If you hurt your knee skiing, the fear of skiing after ACL surgery is very real. 

You should take it easy on your first day skiing after ACL surgery. Remember that you are just testing the waters, and don’t expect yourself to be at the same level you were when you got injured. You don’t want to risk overdoing anything, so just be patient. 

If you feel too afraid to ski, then don’t do it. Take some more time to rehab and recover rather than force yourself into skiing. But if you feel comfortable, just take it one run at a time to see how your knee and your fear respond. 

You can talk to other skiers who have dealt with an ACL injury to help you get over your fear. Sometimes just hearing someone else’s story is all you need to overcome those mental hurdles. 


Here are a few quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions related to if you can ski after ACL surgery. 

Is skiing hard on your ACL? 

Skiing can be hard on your ACL, especially if you go big and ski hard. There are numerous ways you can injure your ACL while skiing, and this isn’t necessarily avoidable. Keeping in shape during the offseason can help prevent knee injuries. 

Should I wear a knee brace skiing after ACL surgery? 

Wearing a knee brace while skiing is a good idea after ACL surgery, but always follow the advice of your doctors. A knee brace can help prevent more damage, but it can also limit strengthening your knee. 

Is skiing or snowboarding better for ACL? 

Both skiing and snowboarding can be dangerous for your ACL. Injuries happen in both sports, and they involve the same movements and forces. You can tear your ACL doing either one and one of them isn’t better or worse than the other. 

Final Thoughts

You can’t ski after ACL surgery until your knee is fully healed and you are recovered. The average time this takes is 6 to 9 months after surgery, but it can take a year or more in some situations. 

Have you ever had an ACL injury or other knee issue? How long did it take to recover and get back on your skis? Let me know in the comments below.

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