Date of Surgery: 4/16/2013
Update (12/2013): Rachel returned to ski instructing in Japan.
Born in the UK, Rachel started skiing around 5 years old. Ski instructing has always been her ‘dream job’. So it began when Rachel was 18 and hasn’t stopped since. Rachel currently lives in the Tirol region of Austria. Rachel’s main focus is to prepare her knee to return to instructing in Niseko, Japan for the 2013-2014 season.
Rachel started her career as a ski instructor in the Tirol region of Austria at 18 years old. After several years in Austria, the lure of year round skiing between the North and South Hemisphere drew her to New Zealand in 2008. Rachel landed a job teaching both cross country and telemark skiing on the Pisa Range in New Zealand. She later moved to teach alpine skiing, snowboarding and telemarking at Mt Hutt in New Zealand. Her first instructing certification came in 2002 in Austria and she continued to progress with certifications from New Zealand in snowboarding, telemarking, freestyle skiing and children’s specific teaching. Rachel has also competed in the K2 Big Mountain Series in New Zealand, which is a Freeride World Qualifier event. With aspirations to continue a career in instruction and competitive skiing, Rachel hopes to work with the Great Britain telemark team and is training towards becoming an examiner for the New Zealand Snow Sports Instructor Alliance which has become internationally acclaimed for producing professional, knowledgeable ski instructors with the capabilities to teach and ski at very high standards.
Treatment Procedure and Recovery Plan
The initial damage most likely occurred in 2002, after a snowboard accident. The outcome was an undiagnosed ACL rupture, lateral meniscus damage and eight months off snow. The most recent knee injury was in February 2012, skiing at Niseko, Japan. The outcome was a grade 3 MCL rupture, previously undiagnosed ACL rupture and more meniscus damage. In April 2013, Rachel underwent surgery at the Kursana Privat Klinik in Austria. The procedure included a hamstring semitendinosus graft which provided the new ACL and the lateral meniscus was sewn together. Post surgery – Autologous Conditioned Plasma (ACP) Injections were used to introduce tiny blood clotting cells called platelets that contain an important growth factor called PGF or platelet-derived growth factor to promote the healthy growth, maintenance, and even regeneration of bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Since surgery, Rachel has been attending physiotherapy regularly and uses biking and swimming as extra opportunities to train the knee. Strength and stability are progressing ahead of schedule while flexibility is taking longer to achieve. Rachel hopes to have the same flexion in both knees and enough stability to ski without a brace next winter.
"As with all of the candidates from the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation, I am eternally grateful for the opportunity they have provided me. Special thanks to the staff of the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation, who helped me through every step and is still at the other end of an email if I need anything!"
- Rachel Hall