Skiing and snowboarding are a lot of fun, but they have the potential to be incredibly dangerous activities as well. Hitting the snow wrong can turn a day of fun out on the slopes into an injury that leaves you sitting on the sidelines for days or weeks (or longer) as you heal. If you love to play in the snow, make sure you are aware of the potential injuries you may face. Here are some of the most common injuries orthopaedists see as a result of skiing and snowboarding.
Common Injuries That Occur from Skiing Accidents
Whether your preference is cross-country or downhill skiing, you can hurt many of the joints that are involved in the motions you need to ski. Some injuries come from moving the wrong way, while others occur during falls. Here are some of the injuries we see most:
- Knee Sprain: The knee is a delicate joint, and skiing puts a lot of pressure on the ligaments in the knee. When a ligament around the knee is stretched beyond its comfort zone, it can sprain the knee. This injury normally needs a brace and time to recover, but in severe cases, it could require surgery.
- Fractures and Broken Bones: During any type of fall from skiing, a fracture or a broken bone could occur. This could be in the wrist from bracing yourself during the fall or even a broken bone in the leg. Fractures may be able to be braced during recovery, but broken bones may require surgery to correct.
- Head Injuries: When you fall from skiing, you could very easily knock your head into something (rock, tree, etc). This could lead to something minor, like a headache, or more massive, like a concussion or worse.
Common Injuries That Occur from Snowboarding
Learning to snowboard is fun, but it requires a lot of physical determination. You must learn to move your body without moving your feet since they are attached to the board. This can lead to some awkward positioning if you happen to fall. Here are some of the most common injuries we see as a result of snowboarding:
- Wrist Injuries: Since the feet are planted on the snowboard, the most common issues we see are injuries of the wrist. This can be a fracture, sprain, break, or dislocation. The recovery required depends on the type and severity of the injury.
- Spinal or Head Injuries: Spinal or head injuries can occur if you fall awkwardly and/or at a high rate of speed. Either of these injuries could have long-term consequences if not treated properly and quickly after they occur.
- Ankle Injuries: When snowboarding, the boots typically hold the ankles firmly in place. However, if you fall, it can dislodge your feet from the board and result in ankle injuries. These can range from sores and bruises up to sprains or complete breaks.
If you love to go skiing or snowboarding, make sure you take precautions to keep yourself safe. If you find yourself injured after a day out on the slopes, make sure to get checked out! Once you’re back home, make sure to schedule a followup appointment with one of the orthopaedic surgeons here at Prairie Orthopaedic in Lincoln, Nebraska – if needed, we’ll work with you to devise a comprehensive treatment plan to help get you back up on your feet AND on the slopes.