With ski season well under way, and the increased popularity of skiing drawing more and more skiers to the slopes, here is what you need to know to help decrease your risk of injury.
Despite adhering to the above recommendations, a ski injury may occur. Most injuries occur to the ligament located on the inner side of your knee called your MCL (medial collateral ligament). It can be sprained from a twisting fall or when a beginner snow plows for a long time. Another knee ligament that is commonly injured is the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) due to a backward fall or twist as in "catching an edge". If you rupture the ACL you will probably need surgery to repair it followed by physical therapy. There has been some literature recently which has shown that if you mildly tear it, with the appropriate treatment, surgery can be avoided.
Some common upper extremity injuries include shoulder dislocation and injury to a ligament of the thumb (ulnar collateral ligament) which is second in frequency of injury to the MCL. Using poles with straps are recommended to avoid this thumb injury. PT can help strengthen the shoulder complex after a dislocation but surgery maybe needed if dislocation reoccurs. The thumb can most often be treated with a protective cast.
Be careful on the slopes! If you do have an injury, make sure to ice, use compression, elevate, and seek medical help if necessary. Now that you know all the essentials, you are ready to hit the slopes. Have an amazing and safe skiing season!