Vonn's Downhill Struggle Ends With Olympic Withdrawal

By Dr. Ray Solano
|  Tuesday, Jan 7, 2014  |  Updated 10:46 AM EDT
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Vonn's Downhill Struggle Ends With Olympic Withdrawal

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Lindsey Vonn will not compete in the Sochi Olympics.

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Capital Games welcomes back Dr. Ray Solano, a chiropractor with a specialty in sports medicine who has been contributing posts about how injuries affect our teams.

In a statement to “Today”, champion Lindsey Vonn announced that she will not compete in the Sochi Olympics next month.

Vonn partially tore her reconstructed anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, during a crash while training back in November. At the time, Vonn decided to delay surgery for as long as possible with hopes of skiing in the Olympics. Unfortunately for Vonn, the aggressive attempt to strengthen and stabilize the knee was not enough.

Knee injuries are the most common type of injury suffered by skiers, accounting for 25 to 40 percent of all injuries. One of the most common is an ACL sprain or tear.

Vonn injured the same knee last February, when she crashed in the World Championships. During the crash, she tore her anterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament, and fractured her lateral tibial plateau.

As Vonn would probably agree, the demands of the sport can be brutal. Skiers place an incredible force on their knees, which is what usually leads to injury. Their knees are constantly rotating and absorbing force, while their foot and upper body are going in different directions. On occasion, skiers are also forced to stop suddenly, taking them one way while their body goes another.
Vonn's recent downhill struggles and understanding what it takes to compete at an Olympic level is likely the reason for her withdrawal from the Sochi Olympics.

"I did everything I possibly could to somehow get strong enough to overcome having no ACL but the reality has sunk in that my knee is just too unstable to compete at this level," Vonn said in a statement to “Today”.

Vonn is widely considered the most accomplished female skier in U.S. History and plans to undergo surgery soon. I'll be sure to keep you apprised on her progress.

Dr. Ray Solano is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with a specialty in sports medicine, and a frequent guest on News4 Midday. Follow @DrRaySolano on Twitter.

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