Nick Simon – Recovery from ACL Surgery

Friday, New Year’s Day, 2021 – While skiing Steamboat Resort’s Terrain Park, Steamboat local Nick Simon, age 23, landed amiss. He knew immediately something was wrong with his right knee. He was able to ski to the base, walk to his car and drive home, but he knew he needed to get it checked out.

Monday, January 4, 2021, 9AM – Nick got an early AM appointment to see SOSI’s Dr. Alex Meininger, one of SOSI’s knee specialists. A physical inspection confirmed Nick’s injury was likely a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). The solution was to have surgery, and because Nick is young and expects to live a long active life, Dr. Meininger recommended that Nick use an autograft from his own leg instead of using a cadaver tendon be

Before noon Nick had also been seen by the nurse, the PA, and the surgery scheduler. He’d had X-rays (needed to for insurance to approve an MRI), experienced SOSI’s state of the art MRI machine, was fitted for a knee brace and had a covid test (required for surgery). Surgery was scheduled for Wednesday.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021 – Dr. Alex Meininger and PA Khristin Degli performed the surgery at the new Steamboat Surgery Center, located on SOSI’s ground floor. In addition to repairing Nick’s ACL the team found and repaired two meniscus tears. All went well and Nick was home by late afternoon with his leg elevated watching Surf’s Up.

Monday, February 15, 2021 – At six weeks out from knee surgery with Dr. Meininger, we caught up with Nick during a visit with his physical therapist, Jennifer Kerr at Ski Town Physical Therapy. “Everything is progressing exactly how we want it to go – nice and slow and steady,” said Jennifer.

Recovery went more slowly than expected, likely because of the two unexpected meniscus tears. “Since there was no swelling around those, Dr. Meininger suspects they occurred previous to my ACL injury,” Nick reported. “I hope to get the green light to start walking next week and to be able to spin on a stationary bike soon.”

He asked Jennifer about swimming. “Not yet because that could be stressful on the tibia, but water walking is great,” she encouraged.

Tuesday June 1, 2021 – Five months after his ACL surgery, Nick reports, “I’m about 80% on the knee right now. I still have a solid amount of Physical Therapy ahead of me still before I am 100% again! Gotta build back some muscle and flexibility and agility.”

He’s taken things slowly to make sure not to overstress his repair. This has included mellow mountain bike rides, gentle kayaking, and fishing at his favorite hole in the Yampa River where he caught a beauty of a Rainbow Trout.