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Planning to Hit the Slopes This Winter? Here's How to Reduce Your Injury Risk

Planning to Hit the Slopes This Winter? Here's How to Reduce Your Injury Risk

A bad fall in powder can be catastrophic and lead to months of recovery from a significant injury. Learning how to prevent and avoid injuries when engaging in snow-related sports like skiing and snowboarding can help you stay safe on the slopes. 

At The Institute for Arthroscopy & Sports Medicine in San Francisco, California, Dr. Jeffrey HalbrechtDr. Ephraim Dickinson, and their experienced team treat many snowboarding and skiing-related injuries. If you’re looking for a San Francisco ski doctor, Bay area-located IASM is an excellent choice, with not just one, but two experienced sports injury specialists.

Knee injuries

Ligament injuries of the knee are common among skiers and snowboarders. 

MCL tears

The medial collateral ligament (MCL) runs down the inside of the knee, all the way from the thigh to the shin. Beginner and fatigued skiers can see a leg go out from under them sideways, tearing this vulnerable ligament.

Reduce injury risk: Only ski or snowboard at your level (don’t try to show off or impress anyone). Don’t ski or snowboard when you’re overly tired, either; the slopes will still be there tomorrow.

ACL tears

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) runs diagonally through the middle of your knee, and can be seriously stretched or torn if your leg gets jammed and the knee bends backwards. The best knee surgeon in San Francisco can repair the damage, but getting back to peak performance will be a long, hard road.

Reduce injury risk: Learning how to fall correctly should be part of every skier and snowboarder’s repertoire. This important skill can help protect your knees and reduce the risk of a life-changing ACL tear.

Shoulder injury

The shoulder has the mobility and strength that it does thanks to a collection of muscles and tendons called the rotator cuff, which wraps around the shoulder joint to stabilize and protect it. A hard fall can mean your shoulder takes the brunt of the impact, and if your pole gets caught, your arm can be wrenched back and up at the wrong angle.

Reduce injury risk: Once again, you need to know when and how to let go of your poles and go into a controlled sideways fall instead of cartwheeling down the slopes. This skill can be the key to reducing your risk for needing the services of a top-ranked rotator cuff doctor in San Francisco.

Thumb injury

The ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) isn’t in your knee; it’s in your thumb instead. Located on the inside of the first joint of the thumb, this ligament has a nickname, “Skier's Thumb,” because it’s so commonly injured by skiers who don’t let go of their poles when they fall.

Reduce injury risk: Understanding when and how to release your poles safely and control your fall so as to avoid injury is critical. 

Has skiing or snowboarding caused you to suffer an injury? If you need a ski doctor, San Francisco-based Dr. Halbrecht or Dr. Dickinson can see you. Just call the location closest to you, or book an appointment online.

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