Casey Andringa Undergoes Surgery to Correct Knee Injury
U.S. Freestyle Team athlete Casey Andringa (Boulder, Colo.) underwent surgery recently to correct a meniscus injury he sustained in 2014 to his left knee. Andringa will spend the upcoming season completing his junior year of college at the University of Colorado while he rehabs with the intention of returning to snow by next spring.
For the past five seasons, Andringa has skied with considerable discomfort as his meniscus was partially removed where he sustained significant cartilage damage to his femur, essentially moguls skiing with bone on bone impact. After finding himself unable to ski through the pain at a training camp in Squaw Valley, Calif., - a U.S. Ski & Snowboard official training site - this spring, Andringa had an MRI and was told that his injury would never heal on it own.
“I started considering my options, and if I want to ski in the Olympics in three years, I needed to get the surgery. With some luck and some hard work, I will be able to take a year off and come back stronger and more confident than ever. It was a hard decision [to take the season off] but at the end of the day I evaluated what my goals were within my sport and realized it was the only possible path to Beijing 2022.”
Andringa received the OATS procedure, an osteoarticular transfer system, used to treat focal cartilage defects. Doctors took a bone plug out of the femur and replace it with a healthy donor graft. The goal of the procedure is to have healthy bone and cartilage which will allow the knee to work smoothly again. Andringa’s surgery went well and he will have to spend six to eight weeks on crutches followed by an additional six to eight months of no impact so that his knee can heal properly. He hopes to be able to return to snow in the spring of 2020.
“I don’t know if it’s a strategic move that I am taking this season off, but it did happen at a (relatively) convenient time. This is the perfect situation for me to rehab and come back with the support of the U.S. Ski Team,” he said. “I’d especially like to thank the entire moguls staff. Matt Gnoza, Josh Bullock and Chuck Williams in particular really helped me through this decision and gave me confidence in knowing they had my back in getting me through this tough period.”
Andringa is a developing force on the U.S. Ski Team, in 2019 he skied the hardest degree of difficulty run on the World Cup circuit for men and finished the season ranked ninth overall. He competed for Team USA at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games and had the best finish for men in moguls for the United States in fifth since Bryon Wilson’s bronze medal in 2010. Andringa made his World Championships debut in February at Deer Valley Resort, wowing crowds as he crossed the finish line first during a dual against Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury (who ultimately went on to win the event against Brad Wilson).
Andringa is thankful to his team, fans, and sponsors for their support during this challenging moment in his career. Follow along Andringa’s journey back to snow via his Instagram.
Well heck guys I knew this day would come, but it just came a lot sooner than I thought. Tomorrow, after 5 years of skiing on a knee with half the meniscus and no cartilage I’ve decided to get a surgery to replace some of the damaged bone and cartilage with some fresh stuff. Over the past couple years the pain has gotten worse and worse and so with the help with my friends and family I decided to take action and pursue the long term solution. This means that I will not be skiing this season- for the first time in my entire life, and going to school while i rehab my knee back to health. But don’t you friggin sleep on me becAUSE YOU KNOW IM COMIN BACK ON SOME FRESH CARTILAGE NEXT YEAR READY TO TERRORIZE SOME GD MOGULS. Anyways, I’m crushed about missing this season with all my friends who are basically family out there, so here are some of my favorite moments over the past 6 months. ✌🏼 out come hang in boulder and sit on the couch with me while I’m in CRUTCHES for TWO FRIGGIN MONTHS.