Kelsey Serwa’s Story

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Reconstruction

Kelsey Serwa – Olympic Gold & Silver Medalist

Kelsey Serwa is an accomplished Canadian freestyle skier and former member of the Canadian national ski cross team who credits much of her success to Dr Heard and the Banff Sport Medicine team.

“I owe so much of my success to Dr. Heard and his team for giving my knee multiple second chances, all while doing so in an environment that made me feel comfortable and relaxed both pre- and post-operation.”

Kelsey Serwa

During her athletic career, Kelsey won many accolades including a gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and a silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. This makes her the only ski cross athlete in the world to win multiple Olympic medals!

Like many athletes and outdoor enthusiasts, Kelsey’s journey from ski hill to Olympic champion wasn’t without injury.

During a training session eleven months prior to the 2014 Olympic games, Kelsey sustained an injury to her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL); one of the key ligaments that help stabilize the knee joint, and a crucial part of Kelsey being able to race.

This injury meant a lot of uncertainty as to whether she’d be able to get back in the starting gate for the 2014 Olympics, healthy and ready to launch herself off 60-foot jumps.

Soon after her injury in 2013, she underwent ACL reconstructive surgery with Dr Mark Heard and the Banff Sport Medicine team. Her determination and commitment to recovery saw her come home from the 2014 Olympics with a Silver medal. She raced with “zero hesitation as to whether [her] knee could handle the pressures”.

A bad landing early in the 2017 training season once again had Kelsey in Dr Heard’s OR room. She had knocked a chunk of cartilage off from within her knee joint.

Due to the type of injury, Kelsey underwent an OATS (or osteochondral autograft transfer system) procedure, which involves using healthy cartilage from a non-weight bearing part of the knee to repair the damaged cartilage. 

“Dr. Heard has given my professional career as a National Ski Cross athlete a second chance, more than once!”

Despite the long recovery time from this type of procedure, Kelsey’s knee came back to full strength just in time to represent Canada at the 2018 Olympic games and win gold!