Avoiding Injury While Skiing

With the recent coating of snow providing fresh powder to ski mountains throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire, you may be itching to hit the slopes. Before you load the car up to head to the mountain, make sure your body is properly conditioned: most injuries sustained on skis occur in the legs, usually the knee. Fractures have decreased over the last several decades with updated skis and bindings, but knee sprains and muscle tears, including ACL and MCL injuries, have become more common.

Injury to the ACL While Skiing


Your ACL is critical to keeping your knee stable and mobile, allowing you to stand, walk and run properly. Injuries and tears can heal through conservative measures such as medication, rest and physical therapy, but often require surgery due to its importance to your stability. You can injure your ACL in several ways while skiing, but the most common ways are through poor jumping or landing after a fall. When the majority of your weight is shifted onto your leg, most of the force will hit your knee and can lead to your ACL tearing. Avoid injury but not attempting to stand up during a fall and moving with your body’s momentum, not against it. Turning into or away from a fall can result in a tear due to the pressure from rotation.

Injuring Your MCL While Skiing

You can tear your MCL while you are skiing when you fall while in a snowplow position: your skis are in diagonals with the tips pointing together as you work to slow down or stop during your run. Because they are common while in snowplow, MCL tears are more often seen in beginner or intermediate skiiers who may not be confident on the slopes yet.

How Can I Prevent Skiing Injuries?

If you are not completely confident on the slopes, take a lesson or two before trying the more complex hills. While skiing, make sure you stay on clearly marked trails and avoid anywhere that may not be properly treated or groomed. Before you get to the lift, have a professional check to make sure you are wearing the right size boots, with the right length skis for your body. A professional will also be able to check for issues with your bindings, fixing them before you get going. You should always wear a helmet to protect your head in case of a fall. Before your trip, make sure you stretch or participate in aerobic exercises such as walking or the elliptical to condition your body for the motions involved in skiing.

Orthopedic Injury Treatment for Skiing Injuries in North Andover & Haverhill MA

If you have experienced an injury while skiing, visit Associates in Orthopedics for treatment. One of our board-certified orthopedic surgeons will be able to properly diagnose and treat your injury, getting you back on the slopes as quickly as possible. Associates in Orthopedics can be reached by calling T-978.373.3851