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Top 5 Skiing & Snowboarding Injuries

Knee Ligament Injuries

Select an injury location on the skier or snowboarder

What is a Knee Ligament Injury?

Injuries to the knee joint account for around one third of all skiing injuries. The Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) of the knee has always been the most common knee injury, as a twist of the knee often leads to a minor MCL sprain. Also while the overall percentage of knee injuries has remained constant over the past 25 years, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of knee ligament ruptures, particularly ruptures of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament ( ACL ).

There are several reasons for the rise in ACL injuries during skiing . Diagnostic investigations such as MRI have meant that the ability to diagnose ACL injuries has improved over the years. Also the improvements in ski boots and bindings that have helped reduce ankle and shin injuries appear to have contributed to the increase in ACL injuries. The forces that had previously affected the ankle and shin are now dissipated to the knee joint, with the ACL commonly injured. Bindings are designed to reduce shin fractures, and their release mechanisms are not fast enough to protect the knee from a sudden twisting injury.

ACL Injuries Explained

MCL Injuries Explained

What can you do to prevent Knee Ligament Injuries?

Wear a knee brace to protect your knees. Knee braces provide around 30% more resistance to forces applied to the knee ligaments. They offer added support to previously injured knees and help prevent knee ligament injury.

We recommend the Donjoy range of knee braces for knee injury prevention during skiing and snowboarding. However, if you have a history of Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury and knee instability, then the Donjoy Armor with Fourcepoint Knee Brace is the best off-the-shelf knee brace available for skiing.

Use 'Multi mode' release bindings if possible. Rear release boots can significantly reduce the risk of ACL injury.

Bindings should be professionally serviced and adjusted every year. Previous research has shown that non-adjusted or poorly adjusted bindings lead to a significant increase in knee ligament injuries.

Self-test your bindings every day. Self testing of bindings is simple. Step into the binding and then twist to the side to release the toe-piece under the control mechanism. The heel can be tested by stepping into the binding and leaning forward, to release the heel-piece. Both the toe and heel should be able to release if properly adjusted.

Don't walk on your ski boots too much. It can affect the fit with the binding and interfere with the release mechanism.

What should you do if you suffer a Knee Ligament Injury?

Seek the opinion of an orthopaedic specialist or physiotherapist. During the acute stage (the first 48-72 hours) of the more severe knee ligament injuries, exact diagnosis is very difficult due to the gross swelling around the joint. A Knee Cryocuff is the most effective form of treatment during this stage as it helps to resolve pain and swelling.

Introduction   Snowboarder's Ankle

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