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Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Slope Safety

Do you dream of black diamonds? Do lift tickets lift your spirits? If you're part of the masses that flock to the mountains each ski season, read on for ways to stay safe on the slopes this winter.

Whether you are an experienced skier or novice, these tips serve as good reminders for everyone:

  • Stretch (as with any sport) before your first run of the day
  • Ensure you have proper equipment, including helmet, goggles, warm layers of clothing and sunscreen 
  • Make sure your boots, skis, and binding are all sized correctly and fit well together
  • Check weather conditions and observe any warnings posted by the local weather service and ski resorts
  • Study your map of the mountain, and respect guidelines on trails for merging and right-of-way traffic
  • Watch out for other skiers, snowboarders, and snowmobiles

    Unfortunately, even if you exercise the most extreme caution on the slopes, accidents do happen. Icy conditions or catching a rock or trees stump with the edge of a ski can cause a nasty fall, resulting in broken bones, sprains, and ligament injuries

    The most common ski injuries involve the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The ACL is located in your knee and helps join the upper and lower leg bones.

    ACL injuries range from mild severe depending on partial or complete tears of the ligament. Symptoms of a tear include sharp pain, swelling, and weakness of the knee. Rest and physical rehabilitation may aid in healing, but sometimes reconstruction surgery is necessary.

    If you suspect an ACL tear while skiing, or a broken bone, get it checked out as soon possible. You contact one of our orthopedic specialists by making an appointment online or calling us at 512-439-1001.

    Click here for more ski safety from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website.

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