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Ski Injuries

Ski Injuries

Safety Site

Monica Palmer, Safety Administrator

Recreational Safety takes Responsibility and Control

Ski Injuries


Many of the snow sport injuries are traumatic. They are often caused by being on dangerous grounds, lift accidents, falls, and collisions. Fatigue after a long, active day or poor judgment may be another reason, too. The most common causes of this type of injuries are:

  • Timing, skiing/snowboarding with no breaks
  • Skiing/snowboarding without consideration to aptitude level
  • Unsuitable/faulty equipment
  • Inadequate adjustment to altitude
  • Dehydration/fatigue
  • Skiing/snowboarding off trail or in secluded areas
  • Failure to adjust to posted warning signs

This list was courtesy of Raleigh Orthopedic.

Three Common Ski Injuries and How to Prevent Them

  1. Knee tears and sprains

Whether you or a buddy has torn or sprained an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or medial collateral ligament (MCL), you’ve likely heard horror stories of knee-related ski injuries. Often, such injuries are fatigue or fitness-related and occur with turning, stopping, and falling. To help avoid ACL and MCL tears, strengthen backside muscles including glutes and hamstrings. Even strengthening the soleus gastroc can balance the stress on the frontside of your leg.

  1. Lower leg strains and ruptures

Achilles ruptures, tibial fractures, and ankle injuries rank among common skier ailments. To avoid them, triple check your binding settings. Also, work to strengthen your foot, ankle, soleus gastroc, and anterior tibilais.

  1. Upper extremity fractures

Skiers often instinctively stretch out their arms to break a fall, which puts shoulders, arms, and hands at risk of fracture and strains. Skier’s thumb, for example, results from falling on an outstretched arm with a pole-in-hand, which can cause a ligament tear. Tip: Drop your poles when you’re going down. Also, improving overall fitness, core strength, and safe falling skills can help avoid arm-breakers. 

Courtesy of Elizabeth Carey and