Protect Your Knees While Skiing this Winter!

Avoid an Appointment with a Ski Doctor in the Bay Area with these Tips

When winter fills the mountains with fresh snow, thousands of enthusiasts will hit the slopes to enjoy the ideal skiing conditions. Unfortunately, skiing can also result in injuries that will require orthopedic surgery in San Francisco. Typically, skiing injuries affect the lower extremities, most commonly the knee.

Common Ski-Related Knee Injuries

MCL Injuries: The most common skiing-related injury is the medial collateral ligament (MCL) tear. The MCL is located on the  inner side of the knee and assists in stabilizing the knee joint. When a skier or snowboarder lands awkwardly in a twisting fashion, he/she can suffer an MCL tear.

ACL Injuries: The second most common injury is the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear. The ACL runs diagonally in the middle of the knee, preventing the tibia from sliding out in front of the femur, as well as providing rotational stability to the knee. ACL tears often require surgery performed by a ski doctor San Francisco.

Meniscus Injuries: Bruising or tearing to the meniscus is a frequently encountered skiing injury. Two menisci act as shock absorbers between the femur and tibia. Injuries  may result from twisting the knee when maneuvering ski turns or from a bad landing following a jump.

How to Avoid Ski-Related Knee Injuries

While the risk of injury is always present when you hit the slopes, there are a few tips to keep in mind that may help you to avoid common ski injuries.

  1. Prepare Yourself Before Skiing: If you have not put on skis in a while, prepare your body with some conditioning exercises at least six weeks prior to skiing.
  2. Perform Warm-up Exercises: Cold muscles are more prone to injury. Perform at least 15 minutes of simple stretching exercises before hitting the slopes.
  3. Know the Ice or Snow Conditions and Be Aware of Your Skill Level: The condition of the snow can change the terrain. Be familiar with the snow condition and stick to the slopes suitable to your level.
  4. Fall the Right Way: Take the fall; fighting it is how ligaments get torn. If you can, sit down to break the momentum. Pull your limbs in towards the torso.
  5. Don’t Overdo It: Start out on easier terrain and improve your skills gradually.
  6. Follow the Skier’s “Code of Conduct”: The common-sense rules you see posted on the slopes are for your protection and the safety of others.
  7. Take Breaks: Injury rates increase with fatigue. Rest when you need to and stay hydrated with water or sport drinks.

Are You Looking into Orthopedic Surgery in San Francisco?

While skiing can be a fun and adventurous way to spend winter months, skiing injuries unfortunately can and do happen. When facing any type of skiing injury, it is important to see a top ski doctor in the Bay Area for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Contact Dr. Jeffrey Halbrecht for a consultation

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