Canadian slalom skier Brad Spence has had knee surgery to alleviate pain that has progressively grown more acute and had reached a point that it has become, he said, “a limiting factor.”
Spence, from Calgary, traveled to London, Ontario for the surgery to his right knee, performed by orthopedic surgeon Bob Litchfield. Dr. Litchfield performed micro-fracture surgery to repair damaged cartilage. Spence is expected to be on crutches for six weeks or so, but no timeline has been established for his return to snow.
“Every one keeps saying there's not really a protocol,” said Spence. “It depends on the individual. It could be anywhere from four to 12 months to be back going full bore. I'm not going to push it faster than anybody recommends.”
He said Dr. Litchfield had located and corrected two spots probably responsible for the knee pain. “The (problem) had been there for a year and a bit,” said Spence. “The pain was so bad, the knee was giving me so much grief that I couldn't do my job. ... I kind of knew it was going to have to happen.”
Spence still led the Canadian slalom skiers, scoring in nine races. He has previously battled back from injury having broken a tibia, fibula and tearing an ACL and MCL in the same knee just prior to the 2006 Olympics.