Lindsey Vonn Injury Update and Expected Return

Original Post by The Ski Channel on February 5, 2013

According to the US Ski Team Medical Personnel, Lindsey Vonn sustained a torn ACL and MCL in her right knee as well as a lateral tibial fracture following a serious crash on Tuesday in Schladming, Austria. Her team announced that she would most likely miss the remainder of this season, but may be able to return to racing for the 2013-14 World Cup season, which begins in October as well as the 2014 Winter Games. This followed her recent return to competition in January following an intestinal illness that kept her in the hospital for a couple of days back in November. She was also three wins shy (currently at 59) from tying the all-time women’s record of 62 total wins, held by Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell.

Dr. Tom Hackett, an orthopedic surgeon at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado said, “There’s a very good chance she could return at full force. Typically, the ACL alone will keep her out for six to eight months, at least at the high, intense level of skiing she’s used to. The MCL can often heal on its own. And a fracture with an ACL is commonly a minor component.”

Many skiers questioned the time of start following a long delay due to fog covering the course. However, officials downplayed that the flat light caused any problems for the skiers when they finally began at 2:30pm. Atle Skaardal, International Ski Federation women’s race director said, “I can confirm that the visibility was great, there were no problems, and the course was also in good shape. I don’t see that any outside factors played a role in this accident…The other factors were like they were supposed to be for ski racing.”

Patrick Riml, U.S. Alpine Director had this to say regarding her accident: “We are upset obviously with what happened, but if you don’t know the facts and why they decided to start and what the weather forecast was, it’s hard to say without any reasoning. And they probably had a reason, otherwise they wouldn’t have started.”

To update those who don’t know what exactly happened or how she injured her leg, she lost balance on her right leg while landing a jump in the Super-G. She then flipped in the air, landed on her back and smashed through a gate before finally coming to a halt. She was tended to for over 10 minutes by medical personnel before being airlifted to a local hospital in Schladming. She was released later Tuesday (Austrian time) and will have surgery at another hospital.