Does anyone manage to go ski-ing with lymphoedema of the leg?

I gave up ski-ing 2 years ago because I got cellulitis shortly after a holiday - but I really miss it. Maybe if I just stick to the easy green runs I would be OK? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Sign up to HealthUnlocked!

Sign up with your E-mail

You may also like...


You need to sign up or log in to reply

9 Replies

  • If you enjoy ski-ing, then do it. Have you had an episode of cellulitis since the holiday? Might be an idea to ask your GP to give you a prescription for anti-biotics (get the pills, don't take the script!) and keep them at the bottom of your bag - go ski-ing, and if you should develop an infection, you have the medication handy to get you home. If you are generally fit and healthy, then there should be no need to restrict yourself to the green runs. I have a friend who lives in Germany, with lower limb lymphoedema, and she does cross country skiing the minute they have a decent coverage. She makes sure she that she wears her garments when she is out and about, and rests in the evening, after she has seen to the husband and kids - she promises me that she has her feet up when we are chatting on facebook!
  • I have lymphoedema in both legs/feet and go skiing as does my brother (he is off skiing today) - he has lymphoedema in one leg. Medically I can't say whether it is a good thing or not all I can say is it hasn't caused me any on real problems. I say "real" problems because the pressure of the boots hurts (I have my own quite large mens ones - now very old). But I loosen my boots when ever I can (lifts, tows etc). I can come down easy black runs (that is fear not the lymphoedema!) and happily do red runs. My biggest fear is ice but that is not to do the the lymphoedema. On easy runs I have my boots fairly loose. On harder runs I tighten them at the top and then loosen them again at the bottom. However I can only tell you of my expereineces - lymphoedema affects us all differently (but my brother seems to be a bit of a speed merchant and manages). I would add that as I have got older I have thought more about what would happen if I broke a bone - but I don't think about it too long - but as I have got older (now in my 50's & learnt to ski in my 20s) I tend things more easily anyway!
  • I see no reason why someone who has had cellulitis shouldn't go skiing other than whether they can get their ski boots on! I have had primary lymphodema for many years and have had cellulitis several time but went skiing last year and am going again this year. I agree with Lynora about taking antibiotics with you but that's something I would recommend when travelling anyway. In many ways skiing holidays should be less risky for lymphies because we don't need to worry about biting insects when we're on the piste. What type of run you do, green, blue red, black should be down to skiing ability not restricted by your lymphodema. Having said all that just be aware that at the end of a days skiing when your foots been compressed in a ski boot all day your leg may take on a slightly different shape, last year I had slim ankles and fat knees so allow time for putting your feet up at the end of the day.
  • Thank you all for your encouraging replies!. I will definitely be going ski-ing next year with my best friend. I just love it so much. There was one year when I struggled to get a boot big enough but my swelling has decreased since then due to multi-layered bandaging, exercise etc. So I'm going for it! This forum is so brilliant for getting this type of advice! Thanks again.
  • I started skiing for a few years from age 38 and loved it (65 now). Only challenge was finding boots to fit. We then moved to live in South Africa for 10 years and I have not had the opportunity to ski since we returned but would still love to if the opportunity arose. It is my understanding when wearing compression garments is that the more exercise the better. Never thought about the consequences should one have an injury?

    I hear a lot of talk on antibiotics and cellulitis on this site. Obviously our lymphatic limbs are all different in cause and severity, but it scares me the amount of discussion of antibiotics as a matter of course as they lose their value when overused and can cause other issues.

    Over the years I have had the odd infection problem on my leg. I always managed it with non pharmaceutical topical applications such as aloe vera, ostrich oil (not currently available) or similar. The only time I have ever taken antibiotics for the leg was the only time I have ever had MLD – in 2006. The MLD was great and removed 5 1/2 litres of fluid greatly improving my leg - but the leg suddenly said "enough" and the whole of the lower leg became infected. The flair up cleared up very quickly with one course of antibiotics.
  • Just back from a weeks skiing. Fantastic and no problems with boots! One tip though. Last year I wore open toed compression stockings for the first three days and ended up with a lot of pain in the ball of my foot where the stocking rubbed when I tred to rotate the skis. So I didn't wear a stocking for the last three days and ended up with slim calfs where the boots had been and fat ones above. This year I wore a closed toe stocking and had no problems.

    As regards use of antibiotics, while I absolutely agree that we should not use antibiotics unless needed I would always recommend anyone diagnosed with lymphodema and cellulitus and perscribed antibiotics take them and, very importantly, complete the whole course. The risk is that if not treated properly cellulitus can quickly lead to Septicaemia which could be very bad news. Accurate diagnosis and treatment is therefore very important. The following link explains the risks quite well.
  • Hi all, just back from a week cross country skiing against all advice on all websites etc - i have arm swelling only so no boot issues, and anyway with cross country you only wer boots like trainers - guess what, my arm the best its been for a year with all the exercise!
  • Hi, Like everyone else, I say "go for it". I'm just back from a week's cross country skiing in Finland. A couple of pointers that I hope you find useful are that I now wear lace up slippers/shoes which keep my feet in reasonable shape. This means that my feet fit into the boots reasonably easily.
    The second point is that ski-chalets - and apres-ski places - are often very warm, and this means that unless I am careful I just gently start to swell up. I therefor take much lighter clothing than the rest of the family, and try to pick a room where I can open the window and get it down to a reasonable temperature.
    Sadly, saunas aren't a good idea with lymphoedema, and nor is running aroud barefoot in the snow.
    Finally, I don't go anywhere without my flucloxacillin anti-biotics, just in case.......
    If you aren't too sure, would a trip to a dry ski-slope give spome confidence?
    Enjoy the trip!
  • Thank you, again, to you all for your encouragement. I WILL be going ski-ing in January/ February with my friends and am taking on board your useful tips.

    Hope everyone is enjoying Easter - and the lovely SUNSHINE - At last!!!


You need to sign up or log in to reply