Skiing injuries

Due to the velocity involved when you hit the slopes, skiing injuries are numerous and wide ranging. In fact, just about any traumatic injury could occur if you fall at 50 miles per hour!!!

One of the most common joints that can be injured when skiing is the knee. The twisty forces that are absorbed through the lower limb can stress various structures internally. Namely, the ligaments and specifically the anterior cruxiate ligament (ACL), and the meniscus can be damaged when too much uncontrolled compression and rotation is put through the knee simultaneously. Commonly, after injuring the ACL or any knee ligament the knee will swell quickly, due to internal bleeding and can become painful to bend or straighten fully. It may feel unstable to load the knee fully. Sometimes patients report an audible 'pop' when the ACL is ruptured. The acute signs of swelling and pain will resolve over a 2-4 week period with appropriate management however the instability will remain. This is the component that needs to be addressed as untreated ACL ruptures have been shown to lead to an increase in the incidence of osteoarthritis in the future.


Treatment depends on the grade of the tear, the stability of the knee and the future demands that will be put on the knee. If the rupture is total, leading to an unstable knee in a person that requires a high level of function, for example a football player, then surgical stabilisation will often be performed. If the rupture is partial and the knee remains stable when stressed in a person who requires less stability / function then commonly a conservative approach will be sufficient. Both approaches require intensive physiotherapy either to rehabilitate post operatively or strengthen and stabilise through improving lower limb muscle function and control.

If you are concerned that you may have injured your knee ligaments as a result of a skiing accident seek medical help as soon as possible in order to expedite you recovery!

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