I had a Bankardt at the end of August and skied the whole season... I didn't use poles for most of the season though and had my arm in a sling for the first few months. (the reason I started wearing a helmet.)
I got in my boat for the first time in Feb on Boulder Creek (in the good old days when it used to run at night in the winter...) and flipped and swam... But by boating season I was back boating and ran some class 5 that season.
It may have helped that I was in grad school and focused a rediculous amout of time on rehab. But it was way stronger after the surgery.
This was just my experience, but 7 years later I'm very glad I went and got it fixed. It's way more stable than the one I didn't get fixed. Even felt fine crashing into a rock upside down on Gilman this weekend