Ski/Snowboard Injury Prevention Page 2
almost any body part can be damaged while skiing or snowboarding, there
are some differences in the patterns of injuries between skiers and
snowboarders. Skiers are
more likely to injure their knees and snowboarders are more like to
injure their arms. This is due to differences in equipment and style.
Skiers use stiff hard boots that transmit tremendous forces to the knee
from long skis. Snowboarders, however, use soft shelled boots and
shorter boards that are more forgiving at the knees. When snowboarders
fall, however, they typically land on their arms, wrists or hands
resulting in a higher rate of injury. The reasons for a higher rate of a
spleen injury in snowboarders, however, is less clear. It may be due to
the aerial tricks they like to perform and the hard landings that
sometimes occur. Finally, the new super side cut skis have been observed
to have a higher than expected incidence of injuries when compared to
conventional skis. Again, the reasons for this are not yet known.
most common knee injury is a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament
(ACL). This is one of the
main stabilizers of the knee and is torn when the skiers is to off
balance to the rear. With the skier's weight on the inside edge of the
downhill ski and weight in the backseat, the hips shift lower than the
knees creating a severe imbalance. The uphill arm swings backward and
the downhill ski gets stuck in the snow twisting the knee violently
leading to an ACL tear. A
second common mechanism by which skiers tear an ACL is to land with
knees fully extended after a jump. The stiff boots transmits the force
up from the leg to the knee tearing the ACL.
It is also possible to injury other ligaments or cartilage in the
knee when skiing. Less
common but important problems such as thumb ligament injuries, shoulder
dislocation and rotator cuff tears may also occur.